BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
ABOUT 1.2 million entrepreneurs are expected to be empowered in the next two years through an initiative which has been put in place by the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) meant to boost entrepreneurship in the country.
The Citizens Entrepreneurs Development Programme (CEDP), which will officially be launched on the 28th of this month, aims to collaborate with local people in the agriculture, mining and urban business initiatives such as digitised taxi services.
For the agriculture component, CEDP has partnered with African Green Resources (AGR) a world-class Zambian agriculture company, which will overseas anchor investors.
EAZ National Secretary, Mutisunge Zulu, said the programme was targeting to empower 1.2 million entrepreneurs in the next two years.
“Our target is 1.2 million entrepreneurs in the space of two years. So if we can have all these, you can imagine how many jobs alongside the value addition would be created,” Mr Zulu said yesterday at a press briefing.
Mr Zulu said beneficiaries would go through an assessment process once the selection exercise which will be conducted through a digital platform subject was done.
He stressed that many beneficiaries would be reached out to using the digital platform.
“There will be an assessment process and that will be done throughout digital platform because we are seeing the benefits of using technology. So we are bullish about this programme,” he said.
Mr Zulu stressed that there would be transparency during the implementation of the programme to be done by independent assurance monitoring by external auditors.
He said farmers under this programme have a readily market as it would promote value chain.
Mr Zulu explained that farmers would be provided with all the necessary inputs such as seed needed for crop production.
Farmers, he said, would need to be trained on how to manage their crops and finances.
CEDP Chairperson, Lubinda Haabazoka, said the identification process of the beneficiaries would start next week.
Dr Haabazoka said: “we are moving in next week to start identifying potential recipients then start training them.”
He urged all beneficiaries to be responsible as they took part in the initiative.
The programme, he said, was a vehicle meant to create wealth by fostering entrepreneurship.