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Agric show platform for future search

TEMBO Benedict.

Analysis: BENEDICT TEMBO
I WAS one of the many show-goers who spent time going round exhibition stands to see how corporates and individual business persons were interpreting the 2018 Agricultural and Commercial Show, whose theme was ‘Sustainable economic development’.Having attended a Future Search workshop at the Zambia Daily Mail recently, there is need to get ready for future eventualities.
As a potential farmer, my first port of call was at the Zambia National Service stand where Davy Kapaya, the production officer at Chanyanya Farm, gave me tips on fish farming.
At the Zambia Correctional Service joint, I was taken through the carpentry business by an inmate while at the National Housing Authority, the real estate manager Sharold Nakeempa highlighted the firm’s survival plan.
At Atlas Mara, Christabel Nyirenda, the acting country manager for digital and East Park Mall branch manager Malambo Ng’andu guided me through the own-a-home promotion and the digital app, both launched last week.
I later paid a courtesy call on Indo-Zambia Bank (IZB) where
Hebert Tembo, the corporate services manager, was on hand to explain to me how the financial institution is contributing to the growth of the economy.
IZB supports Government projects to the tune of 28 percent, 16 percent pitched to wholesale and retail trading, the real estate sector gobbling 17 percent with the IZB Ultimate House loan being the highlight and seven percent dedicated to support agricultural activities.
The IZB Ultimate House loan is one of the latest products launched this year to contribute to citizens’ economic empowerment.
The manufacturing sector has 18 percent and the small and medium enterprises accounts for 14 percent.
The bank is alive to creating positive customer experiences by coming up with unique products in an effort to maintain current customers and attract new ones.
These include the classic savings account, whose minimum balance is only K250.
This account, according to Mr Tembo, comes with all the modern mobile payment solutions. The bank was the first to launch the visa chip in the country.
At the core of the bank are women and the vulnerable whom it supports through micro self-groups who are introduced to the financial institution by some church bodies.
IZB has responded affirmatively to the Bank of Zambia’s call for financial inclusion by opening branches in areas which had no banks.
These include Mungwi near Kasama in Northern Province, and Nyimba in Eastern Province.
Since the opening of Mungwi and Nyimba branches, the outlook of these two rural districts has changed for the better as banking services have been taken to the door steps of public service workers, traders and farmers who trekked long distances to access funds.
This has had a huge turn around as nurses and teachers who abandoned patients and pupils to access their salaries in Kasama and Petauke spend more time on service delivery.
The other milestone has been the introduction of point of sale machines in rural areas to support economic development.
Under this arrangement, the bank’s customers go to designated shops where they swipe to buy goods as opposed to moving around with huge sums of money.
This gesture has tied in well with the bank’s vision of being the catalyst for the economic development of Zambia.
It has all the technological instruments at its disposal to support modern banking such as mobile banking, internet banking, ATMs, POS machines which allow convenience, including e-payment systems for Napsa and Zambia Revenue Authority to enable clients pay their taxes conveniently anywhere, anytime with the tax payment system.
The bank, a symbol of international cooperation between Zambia and India, stands tall in the banking industry in Zambia given its capital position as of December 31, 2017, in which its total paid-up capital stood at K416 million. Its business value per share at K1.82, return equity at 26.18 percent, the shareholder’s balance sheet combined size at a whooping US$254 billion.
The author is Zambia Daily Mail editorials editor.

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