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Hakainde Hichilema initiative launches out in North-West

By John Mubambe

The Hakainde Entrepreneur Mentorship Initiative (HEMI) has been officially launched in North-Western Province to offer practical solutions to poverty.

HEMI National Chairperson Monze Muleya disclosed that HEMI is an initiative by President Hakainde Hichilema in his private capacity to nurture and empower entrepreneurs and cooperatives for social and economic development.

“Hakainde Entrepreneur Mentoring Initiative (HEMI) is a platform of President Hakainde Hichilema which was formed in his individual capacity to share his lifelong entrepreneurship experience in business so that cooperatives also become successful entrepreneurial organizations,” said Muleya.

The initiative would establish 3000-plus cooperatives in the province out of 20,000 cooperatives across the country in the first year of implementation, to create employment and improve Zambians’ standard of living.

“This idea is a private initiative by President Hakainde who personally chose the Farmers Development Cooperative Union (FDCU) to drive it on his behalf as a private business which is going to handle serious implementation of programmes for people of North-Western Province,” Muleya said.

The programme launched at the Solwezi Municipal Council Chamber on November 5, 2023, is non-racial, non-tribal, non-religious and non-political, and meant to promote investment in Zambia by Zambians and dedicated to helping resolve social and economic problems in the country.

An Initiative Coordinating Committee would manage the programme from the chiefdom level to the provincial level and consist of FDCU members, cooperatives and other stakeholders including the Provincial Support Network.

Mr. Muleya further added, “The idea of partnering with traditional leaders is strategic because they need to be on board as they are custodians of land which is the biggest resource which our cooperatives will need to use for their projects.”

HEMI would only admit cooperatives that are at the grassroots level to allow for the initiative’s benefits to reach as many North-Westerners as possible through a multiplier effect.

“We are talking about cooperatives which suit the definition by the International Cooperation Alliance which states that a cooperative is an association of people that come together to pull resources together to engage in the business of economic activities for the purpose of improving their welfare,” Muleya explained.

HEMI Provincial Chairperson Gilly Kakunta was excited about the launch of the two organizations in the province, particularly in Solwezi.

He thanked President Hakainde Hichilema for his initiative to empower cooperatives in the province through FDCU.

Kakunta was optimistic that the coming of the HEMI and FDCU would bring development through the registration and affiliation of enterprises and cooperatives in the province which had lagged behind for a long period in terms of development and business.

“We have seen a lot of organizations which haven’t left any benefits to the locals. Now, we have hope and confidence because the President is behind these two new organizations and we hope that his name won’t be put into public disrepute by the failure of top organizers of these organizations,” Kakunta said.

Provincial Permanent Secretary Grandson Katambi thanked President Hakainde Hichilema for the formation of an initiative which would target and support a minimum of 4000 cooperatives in its year of programme implementation.

He noted that President Hakainde, through his networks, intended to nurture and empower the present and next generation of entrepreneurs to drive economic growth and innovation in the province.

Acting Solwezi Municipal Council Town Clerk Lubinda Mwala said the local authority through the Mayor and management were ready to support the initiative and assist the local community members to fully take advantage of the President’s initiative which would change the quality of their lives.

“This initiative will not mean anything in our life if we don’t act if we don’t take advantage of this opportunity. It is only through action, through actively participating in this movement that we will be able to utilize and change our lives,” said Mwala who is the Council’s Director for Housing and Social Services.

In a vote of thanks on behalf of Queen Mother Kapijimpanga (Chief Kapijimpanga’s spouse), Prince Brian Kajoba thanked President Hakainde Hichilema for establishing HEMI and FDCU to bring development, empowerment, and self-reliance to the chiefdoms in the province.

“The launch for HEMI and FDCU has excited us in the chiefdom, Solwezi District and the province as a whole,” he said.


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