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MSMEs are key to national development

LUSAKA – Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSME), Elias Mubanga, has said that micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can positively contribute to the growth, sustainability, and improvement of the livelihoods of the majority of citizens.

Speaking at the launch of the Capacity Building Booklet for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises at Mulungushi International Conference Centre on Tuesday, Mr. Mubanga said that the MSMEs sector plays a significant role in economic development and contributes to the advancement of the global community.

“The booklet serves as a guide for running businesses for all individuals, associations, and cooperatives. This booklet comes after broader consultations with stakeholders on the need to provide structured capacity building for MSMEs to effectively complement government’s efforts for a thriving private sector,” said Mr. Mubanga.

Mr. Mubanga added that MSMEs play an important role in fostering national development through enhanced production, employment, and income generation. They also help to increase Zambia’s export earnings.

At the household level, MSMEs serve as a pillar for sustainable and improved livelihoods and poverty alleviation. They also reduce the number of citizens without access to capital funds for business.

Mr. Mubanga said that MSMEs represent about 97 percent of all businesses in the country, amounting to 70 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 88 percent of employment across sectors.

“SMEs also contribute tremendously to society and play a key role as they add to the employment of a large share of the most vulnerable segments of the country’s workforce. Most importantly, these are critical as they are spread across a large number of economic sectors,” he said.

Mr. Mubanga also said that business associations are pivotal to the growth of the MSMEs sector because they provide a platform for the promotion of business opportunities in the country. He said that business associations are a channel through which a large number of enterprises can be easily reached and also a conduit through which training to MSMEs can be provided for sustained business growth.

Speaking at the same event, MSME Permanent Secretary, Subeta Mutelo, said that the booklet launched will help associations, cooperatives, and organizations to better understand their roles from the process of registration to disbursement.

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