Investrust, Zanaco get AfDB credit

Investrust, Zanaco, AfDB, credit, EPSA, Barclays, ZambiaAfrican Development Bank (AfDB) provides credit lines valued at $13.5mn to two commercial banks.African Development Bank (AfDB) provides credit lines valued at $13.5mn  to two commercial banks to support development of private sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia


According to AfDB country representative Freddie Kwesiga, the institution has provided Zanaco with $5mn from the initial allocation of $10mn while Investrust Bank has received $3.5mn as part of its initiative to close the financing gap for SMEs.

The credit lines target SMEs drawn from productive sectors such as manufacturing, mining, agro-industry and agriculture-linked businesses.

At the same event, Japanese Embassy acting head of economic co-operation Keiko Yamanaka said Japan has committed over $1bn for SMEs growth in Africa (including Zambia) under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA).

“The importance of SME development cannot be over-emphasised. They are dynamic and vibrant players. In Japan, approximately 99 per cent of the corporations are SMEs and employ 70 per cent of the private sector workforce,” she enthused.


Training entrepreneurs

And Zanaco director of retail banking Arjan Poels said the bank will in 2011 train 2,000 entrepreneurs in various skills development programmes across the country. This is in addition to another 2,000 SMEs trained in financial management last year.

Meanwhile, Bank of Zambia (BoZ) deputy governor for administration Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula said the central bank is implementing the Financial Sector Development Plan (FNDP) which will, inter alia, address issues of access to finance.

And officiating at the function, Commerce, Trade and Industry deputy minister Keith Mukata called on SMEs to contribute to economic development of the country through quality enhancement.

“It is important that growth is sustained, accelerated and broadened, especially in the SME sector which is the largest employer in Zambia. This can only happen if private investment increases, so that more jobs can be created,” he said.


Barclays support local business

In another development Barclays Bank Zambia has provided ZMK400bn to SMEs to promote growth of local businesses this year.

“This year so far, we have provided over ZMK400bn to SMEs under our loan scheme facility. This is important because it directly contributes to empowering local entrepreneurs as we facilitate job creation,’’ said managing director Saviour Chibiya.

Other than providing ZMK400bn to SMEs, the bank also lent over ZMK230bn to individual retail customers this year.

And the bank has launched the Platinum Debit Card which will enable customers to make payments for goods with their cards using the internet and make travel bookings for hotels and car hire, among other services.

Barclays also invested in Point of Sale terminals to ensure Zambians are able to pay in many places using their debit cards. It owns over three quarters of the Point of Sale terminals in Zambian shops, restaurants and hotels.


Nawa Mutumweno

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