Roll-out of reservation scheme on track

NKRUMAH University Hostels under construction in Kabwe

GOVERNMENT has prioritised the poultry, local haulage and construction sectors under the reservation scheme meant to encourage citizens’ participation in industrial and value-addition sectors.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry chief economist Boniface Kunda said the schemes were introduced to avail and secure citizens’ participation in the domestic economy, particularly through entrepreneurship and value chains.
“We introduced the reservation schemes last year, we will implement them gradually in various industries but we started with the poultry, local haulage and construction sectors. The objective is encouraging Zambians space to participate more in the economy,” he said.
He said economic growth is sustainable when it is anchored on citizen participation.
He, however, said policies that are developed are not meant for Government benefit alone but are for effective functioning of the economy and facilitation of the role that private sector plays.
Meanwhile, Mr Kunda said after the economic liberalisation in the 1990s, Zambia has continued to receive an increased flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) across its productive sectors.
He said the country’s FDI has increased over time from US$360 million in 2004 to over US$3 billion in 2016.
The major sources of FDI are Austria, Canada, India, Switzerland, United Kingdom, South Africa and China.
Of the total FDI, mining accounts for half followed by finance, manufacturing, wholesale, retail trade, transport and communication.
At the end of 2015, Cabinet approved plans to establish reservation schemes under the Citizen Economic Empowerment Act, which would bar foreigners from trading in poultry, quarrying, block making and domestic haulage to increase the participation of citizens in ownership of strategic industries and value addition.
Mr Kunda said in an interview last week that government will provide support in terms of finance, entrepreneurial skills and technology through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission to small- and medium-sized enterprises wanting to enter these sectors or intend to expand their businesses.
Government implemented the reservation scheme, which is applied to particular sectors designated by the local authority within a specified geographical area, in consultation with competent administrative offices and relevant stakeholders.

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