ZAMBIA Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Chabuka Kawesha says the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about many innovations across the private sector.

In an interview, Kawesha said many businesses had began utilising ICT platforms to a greater extent.

“Covid has triggered a lot of innovations in the industry and across the private sector to learn, to adapt in terms of how to manage health care approaches within our business unit as well as how to trade whilst the Covid pandemic is being banished by the health experts. It has brought out a lot of initiatives and innovations. It has promoted the use of ICT platforms to a greater extent. We can only encourage the business community that as we follow the health guidelines, we remain mindful of how important it is to ensure that our businesses still thrive,” he said.

“In principle, that is what has really brought out innovative ways of doing business, holding regional and country meetings and conferences and we are now seeing heavy utilisation of ICT platforms, to continue promoting and lifting our business, even marketing. As you can see, there is a lot of increased marketing using social media platforms. What we are saying is that it has brought out a lot of initiatives that the business community is using to sustain and survive within the business.”

He said while it was tragic that lives had been lost during the pandemic, it was evident that it had had some positive effect on businesses.

“It is a health pandemic, it has caused a lot of death and it is not something we can be pleased about. It has brought in a lot of suffering but where business operations are concerned, it has brought out a lot of innovativeness on how to operate. Zoom platform, Teams platforms, and many others that the business community has relied on to communicate. An increased usage of Skype, an increased usage of Zoom, Teams and any other communicating virtual platforms. We have seen even conferences, board meetings are now being conducted virtually,” said Kawesha.

“The business community has said yes, the pandemic is here, we should not stop operating, let’s just operate in a safe environment as we follow the health guidelines. And we continue to encourage the business community to significantly follow the health guidelines that the Ministry of Health has provided us, they are doing a brilliant job…it is for all of us to be conscious shop owners, shop goer, it’s for all of us to follow health guidelines, it is the only thing that can save us besides the aspect of vaccination. We need to follow the health guidelines that the Ministry of Health and other arms of government and other private sectors are calling for, that we follow the health guidelines.”