By BUSINESS REPORTER
GOVERNMENT has launched a scheme that will see macro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Zambia access adequate financing.
The Zambia Credit Guarantee Scheme Limited is expected to promote the growth and development of MSMES.
Speaking on Wednesday during the launch, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said the prevailing high interest rates in Zambia had continued to be a hindrance.
“As government, we are concerned about the prevailing high lending interest rates which commercial banks and micro-financial institutions continue to charge despite various forward-looking monetary policy measures and interventions which the Bank of Zambia has been implementing.
“In turn this has continued to hamper the growth and development of MSMEs and ultimately our economy,” she lamented.
Ms. Mwanakatwe also said government was committed to ensuring the long term sustenance and visibility of the scheme in order to sustainably grow MSMEs in the country.
“At present, government is the only shareholder of ZCGS but is desirous to dilute its shareholding to an insignificant percentage thereby paving way for a mixed shareholding in ZCGS which is private sector-led.
“This is a unique and rare opportunity for development partners, development financial institutions and indeed any other well-wishers to buy equity or provide financial support and be part of the unfolding success story of the Zambia Credit Guarantee scheme,” she said.
Ms. Mwanakatwe said government’s policy initiatives towards financial inclusion were already bearing fruits.
“By way of examples, a private sector driven credit reference bureau is already operational and the rural finance expansion programme is being implemented,” Ms. Mwanakatwe said.