By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu says the Zambian private sector should take advantage of the USD 750 million financing facility offered by the African Development Bank.
Mr Ng’andu said this to achieve stability, sustain their growth, and become competitive in the domestic and international market place.
He said Zambia has a sustainable lending limit of USD 750 million at the African Development Bank for both sovereign and non-sovereign borrowers for 2019.
“This is a honeycomb of empowerment for Zambia’s small and medium scale enterprises,” the Minister delightfully said after African Development Bank Country Manager Mary Monyau disclosed the facility during a consultative dialogue held at the Ministry of Finance Headquarters in Lusaka.
Ms Monyau reaffirmed that a further USD 50 million lending facility is available through the Development Bank of Zambia.
She said that many international development financial institutions were keenly following the proceedings between the Bank and the Government.
On regional integration, the African Development Bank Country Manager said a facility of USD 59 million is available for the re-development of Mpulungu Harbour.
Ms Monyau also confirmed that a grant of USD 30 million from the Netherlands is also at arm’s length for the project.
During a bilateral meeting with his Rwandese counterpart Uzziel Ndagijimana held in Lusaka, yesterday, Dr Ng’andu affirmed that through the participation of the private sector and the support of development partners.
“You need to help us to strengthen business acceleration capacity for small and medium enterprises so that our people in the private sector can access the USD 750 million sustainable lending facility,” she said.
The Minister also took the opportunity to request the support of the African Development Bank and other development partners in assisting Zambia in returning to fiscal health and achieving sustained fiscal consolidation.