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CEEC injects K20m in Western Province

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
THE Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has pumped K20 million in Western Province in the last two years to stimulate industrialisation.
And the commission has since inception to date provided business loans to more than 65 tourism projects that include lodges, restaurants and entertainment ventures.
CEEC director general Likando Mukumbuta said in an interview that among the projects the commission has funded in Mongu is the processing of mango juice and cashew nuts.
Mr Mukumbuta said the commission is happy with the projects being undertaken in Mongu and that machinery for producing mango juice has since been imported.
“Last year, we invested K10 million in Western Province and another K10 million this year. This kind of funding is unprecedented in rural industrialisation,” Mr Mukumbuta said.
He cited Mwandi, Nalolo, Limulunga, Mongu and Kaoma as some of the districts that have benefited from the commission’s funding.
K2.4 million was loaned to the hospitality industry in Livingstone last year.
Mr Mukumbuta said CEEC funded operators in the tourism industry prior to the hosting of the United Nations World Trade Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly.
Zambia and Zimbabwe co-hosted the conference in August, last year, in Livingstone and Victoria Falls respectively.
He said the commission is currently developing a tourism package which will be commissioned next year.
Mr Mukumbuta said the commission seeks to encourage and promote international standards in the country’s tourism sector by supporting the establishment of franchise tourism businesses.
“Any franchise  investments in tourism will be considered by the commission, including hotels and other lodging, restaurants, water spots, theme parks, takeaways, travel and tours, cinema, and any others,” he said.
A franchise is an agreement where the owner of a trademark or brand allows someone else to operate a business that sells their products and or services under their licence.