THE Business Coalition Council Emergency Taskforce (BCCET), a group of business interest groups focused on initiatives that will help minimize the COVID-19 pandemic impact in Zambia, has reconstituted its steering board of governors to be headed by economist Professor Oliver Saasa.

According to a press release availed by BCCET vice-chair, media, Martin Musunka, Prof Saasa, who assumes the new role from outgoing chair Jason Kazilimani Jr, stated that COVID-19 multi-sectoral interventions required concerted efforts from all stakeholders to effectively contain the virus.

“We need to take advantage of different expertise and different groups and bring together competencies, especially in the medical field in ensuring that the national response is effective through engagement of various stakeholders. We will certainly need to work extremely hard in dealing with COVID-19 because the effects border on health and the economy,” Prof Saasa said in a statement.

He also outlined that BCCET aimed at working closely with government to find solutions to the immense challenges Zambia faced, particularly within the local economy and business community arising from the COVID-19 pandemic by providing direct insight on survival strategies, which was in line with preserving employment and economic stability, while providing support and funding for medical solutions.

Prof Saasa’s appointment as new board chair is subject to the ratification of the BCCET Council.

Other board members on the BCCET board are economist and media expert, Chibamba Kanyama, Mwiya Musokotwane, Grant Cummings and Mark Luring, among others.

The BCCET established the Zambia COVID-19 Fund to supplement government’s efforts in tackling the virus, which is managed by the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA).