Mutati Seeks Affordable Financing for SMEs

Minister of Finance Mr. Felix Mutati has said the government is in the process of creating an Entrepreneurial Fund for the private sector to facilitate the creation of a scheme for issuance of long-term credit guarantees to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’S) in Zambia on low-interest terms.

Mr. Mutati said the Entrepreneurial Fund which will be offered at affordable interest rates, is aimed at enhancing the capacity of small-scale private sector players in order to facilitate their participation in accelerating the growth of the economy.

The Minister was speaking in Paris, France, where he recently held a high-level consultative and resource mobilization meeting with Agence France De Developpment (AFD). Among the targeted enterprises, are those involved in agriculture, aquaculture, value addition, renewable energy, and off-grid power generation projects.

Mr. Mutati appealed to AFD, the international development wing of the French government, to invest in the Credit Guarantee Scheme; completion of the Kenya –Tanzania-Zambia Power Interconnector; Off-grid Power Projects; and aquaculture.

And AFD Operations Director, Madam Laurence Bretton says AFD will consider the proposal to support the credit guarantee scheme alongside the efforts being made in creating a fund for agri-business in Zambia.

AFD is also looking at small hydro power projects in Northwestern Province, among them a 45 Mega Watts Power Project, to be co-financed with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).