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).