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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Small-scale miners welcome SME ministry

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Small-scale miners on the Copperbelt have welcomed the creation of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises saying it will enhance the growth of the Small and medium businesses.

Speaking in an interview with the media in Kitwe yesterday, Chapamo Mining Limited Eexecutive Officer, Kelvin Tembo said the creation of the Ministry gives the smallscale traders a place where they can present their challenges and get help from.

Mr. Tembo has since appealed to government through the new Ministry to help them access financial resources for them to expand their operations.

“We are hoping that government will provide some form of funds through the Ministry or help us access funds from financial institutions at an affordable rate as issues of financial access had been the biggest challenge to our growth,” Mr. Tembo said.

He explained that it had been difficult for the SMEs to operate because they did not have anywhere to run for capital.

Mr Tembo urged government to either source for funds for SMEs or investors that can go into joint ventures with small scale entrepreneurs.

And Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Association (AZIA) General Secretary Lameck Kashiwa says the government should incorporate the traders under the mandate of the ministry.

Mr. Kashiwa said the traders’ plight should be taken care of by the new Ministry as for a long time, traders have been entangled between the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Local Government for its needs hence the failure for the two ministries to adequately addresses the plight of the traders.

“There is need to remove the notion that one needs to reach a certain level pf capital to qualify to be a Small Scale Entrepreneurs, traders should be incorporated under the small and medium entrepreneurs so that they can benefit from the incentives that will be provided under the new ministry,” He stated.

Last week, President Hakainde Hichilema created the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises to look into the welfare of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs.

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