SME ministry urged to  be more responsive

 The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises should be more responsive to the needs of the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs throughout the country, a Kitwe business consultant has said.

Mr Lameck Kashiwa , who is also Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Association (AZIEA) General Secretary, says there is need for the  SME ministry  to be more responsive to the needs of the entrepreneurs in the country if it is to serve its purpose.

ZANIS reports that Mr. Kashiwa in an interview said his association has in  the recent past  suggested approaches that can help to address the challenges of the SMEs , but the Ministry has paid a deaf ear.

“We are a very committed association in the informal business which would want to help government improve the status of people in informal business, our people are working hard and when we are seeking to get clarification on things that may not be of help to the informal economy, the Ministry is very quiet,” He bemoaned.
He called on the Ministry to develop a directory that will specifically look at the informal economy.
He also called on government to decentralize the Ministry by opening officers in districts so that the Ministry gets closer to its beneficiaries in the peripherals.

And Mr. Kashiwa has stated that following the recent directive by President Hakainde Hichilema to Minister of Local government to address bottle necks to the process , accessing the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) by small scale entrepreneurs has markedly improved.
A good number of his members have so far successfully applied for the constituency Development Funds although they are yet to receive the funds.
He said the applicants are hopeful that there will be transparency in the selection process just as  it was under the teacher recruitment process which he said was very transparent and fair.

He has however urged applicants to the CDF to follow the process so that they are not disadvantaged by any technicalities.

He also urged government to continue monitoring the process and make adjustments where appropriate until the objective of increased and
decentralized CDF,  of taking money to all citizens including those in rural areas is achieved.