EAZ calls for removal of bureaucracy in accessing US$20m SME loan scheme 


The Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) has called for removal of any red tape or bureaucracy in accessing the US$20 million Loan Guarantee Scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) once it is made available.

EAZ has also requested cooperating partners to quickly make available the US$20m Loan Guarantee Scheme for SMEs through the financial sector to support SMEs enterprise initiatives as announced in the 2023 national budget.

EAZ president Isaac Ngoma hopes that the funds would be made easily accessible without any red tape.

“The country needs some venture capitalists to provide to start-up companies and small businesses that have potential to grow and produce more for local and foreign markets.

“We know that this economy needs new and significant inflow of funds in the form of private equity and private debt financing for long-term growth prospects of the private sector which will increase domestic revenue potential,” Mr Ngoma said at the at the 2023 first quarter budget performance in Lusaka on Tuesday.

He pointed out that the EAZ had been and would continue to support Government’s effort by engaging with potential investors and venture capitalists to consider Zambia as an investment destination of choice.

Generally, Mr Ngoma said, EAZ supported Government efforts to attract more foreign direct investment to grow the economy.

He also stressed the need to explore and mobilise for export-import financing funding to businesses engaged in international trade.

“This should be through structured arrangements where private sector access concessional, low cost financing for the purchase of equipment, working capital, and other expenses related to mostly exporting or importing goods and services that are intended as input to local raw materials.

“EAZ believes this option is necessary for businesses that are looking to expand their operations into new export markets and earn us the much-needed forex while enhancing local production capacity,” Mr Ngoma said.

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