BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
BUSINESSES, small scale farmers and young innovators should take advantage of the opportunities which have been presented by Covid-19 to move into the spectrum of producing local content and satisfy the market.
Covid-19 has presented many opportunities for young innovators and businesses to produce local content following the trade disruption which is currently being experienced due to the pandemic, says COMESA Business Council (CBC) Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Uwera.
Ms Uwera observed the need to strengthen more productive capacity within Zambia to produce local products and sell them at cost effective prices within the market.
She was speaking this week when CBC, Lusaka Food Basket and Barefeet Theatre jointly donated 30 food baskets to the vulnerable in Lusaka’s Chibolya Compound.
“One of the strong focus of CBC is local sourcing for partnerships and right now Covid-19 has presented an opportunity for a lot of businesses, small scale farmers and even young innovators to move into the spectrum of producing local content in a timely following disruptions within the region,” she said.
Ms Uwera said developing and supporting local content such as face masks was important as it would encourage innovation.
She encouraged other organisations to carry out such initiatives to support the local community especially in light of the Covid-19.
“Right now I am happy to note that a lot of organisations and businesses are producing this content and giving it out for free. This is very important especially that we are in times when money is scarce in the economy.
“We are here to give out 30 food baskets to vulnerable society and we will be moving to the markets to distribute 1000 mask shields to vendors’ within the market spaces,” Ms Uwera said.
CBC Board Business Policy and Programmes Manager, Kudzai Madzivanyika, said the total value of donated things was about US$3,000.
She explained that the initiative was part of the CBC Corporate Social Responsibility where they wanted to give back to the community and promote value to communities they operated within Zambia.
Barefeet Theater Board Director, Albert Manasyan, said the group had supported over 246 families with monthly food baskets.
“Since March we have made 30,000 face masks distributed around the country. Last week we started a new initiative to support school children with face masks.
“We have raised almost K1 million since March and that is going to produce face mask for school going children,” Dr Manasyan said.