By John Chola
The First National Bank (FNB) Zambia has from July 2022 to September 2023, disbursed about K200 million in loans to SMEs in the country.
And the bank has assured that it still remained open to stretching further this assistance to qualifying firms in Zambia.
“Our SME value propositions includes Scored Credit, Trade Facilities such as Invoice Discounting, Vehicle and asset financing for machinery, equipment and
other assets or capital requirements. This is an innovation born from taking time to understand our customers and their unique needs,” said FNB Zambia Head – Business and Commercial, Kabanda Lilanda.
Furthermore, Lilanda added, FNB Zambia does support businesses in the Agro processing value chain with facilities tailored for their business needs.
As a Bank, Lilanda emphasized, FNB Zambia continues to assess opportunities of collaboration as part of government’s focus to drive Public Private Partnerships and deliberate interactions with organizations like the Zambia Association of Manufacturers.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM), has announced FNB Zambia as the main partner in the implementation of the Inaugural Manufacturers Month that started running from 23rd October 2023 to 24th November 2023.
The series of events in this Manufacturers Month have been called under the theme “Catalysing Value Chains for Sustainable Growth: Leaving No One Behind” to
demonstrate the backward and forward linkages that the manufacturing sector uniquely promote.
Speaking on the strategic partnership with ZAM, Lilanda said the development signified the Bank’s commitment to enabling sustainable growth for businesses of different scale through robust initiatives.
“At FNB Zambia, we are focused on being the bank of choice for businesses and we provide different solutions to help organizations start, run and grow. FNB Zambia has committed K500,000 towards the Manufacturers Month to ensure that we create linkages, provide opportunities for information sharing and build awareness on the finance solutions available for SMEs and other businesses”, Mr. Lilanda said.
ZAM Chief Executive Officer, Muntanga Lindunda noted that the manufacturing sector continues to be faced with
several challenges hindering the growth of the industry.
He further said that notably, financial constraints,high cost of production, unfair competition, lack of manufacturing skills were are among the major challenges facing the manufacturing industry.
“The partnership between ZAM and FNB Zambia signifies a robust commitment to fostering synergy between the financial sector and the manufacturing industry, recognizing the pivotal role each plays in driving prosperity. The partnership is founded on the shared belief that by working hand-in-hand, both sectors can
unlock new avenues for innovation, the much-needed job creation, and overall economic advancement”, Mr. Lindunda said.
He said ZAM was excited to partner with FNB Zambia to strengthen the ties between the financial and manufacturing sectors.
“We particularly look forward to a fruitful manufacturing sector by showcasing the performance of the domestic industry. We will be going to Chongwe District Hospital on Friday 17th November for a donation, then we will host the 3-day Proudly Zambian Expo from 21st-23rd November at East Park Mall and the prestigious
Manufacturers Gala and Awards Ceremony on Friday 24th November”, Mrs. Lindunda concluded.
The Manufacturers Month is the first of the many engagements that ZAM and FNB Zambia have planned in this
The first activity is taking place on the 23rd November 2023 is the Trade Facilitation Conference that will provide an opportunity for dialogue between the manufacturers with relevant stakeholders such as the policy makers, financiers, supply chain players to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities in trading in the SADC and COMESA regions.
Other activities from this partnership will include access to tailored financial solutions for the manufacturers,
knowledge sharing and capacity building to enhance financial literacy within the manufacturing community, and
integration of cutting-edge financial technologies into the manufacturing processes, streamlining transactions,
optimizing supply chains, and fostering a culture of innovation within the industry.
ZAM and FNB Zambia called on all stakeholders that have not yet registered to participate in the Manufacturers Month
to do so, so that they do not miss out on the various events put in place to ensure maximum benefits to and from the manufacturing sector.