FUNDING challenges to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has immensely affected implementation of its programmes in the last three years, says director general Patrick Chisanga.
Mr Chisanga complained to the parliamentary committee on economic affairs last week that funding from the treasury in the last 3 years has remained static while operational costs had increased.
“Limited funding has greatly affected service delivery and implementation of strategies with a bearing on poverty reduction,’’ he said. He said the grant ZDA received annually from the treasury was at the moment a very small component of what was needed to carry out its work countrywide.
“ZDA is a facilitating institution, we empower the private sector and we can only do so if we have sufficient funding to carry out the facilitation, training and capacity building programmes, “At the moment the grant that we receive annually from the treasury is a very small component of what we need to carry out our work,” he said.
Mr Chisanga told the committee that ZDA would appreciate if it received a more sustainable injection of funding from the Government which would sustain the programmes throughout Zambia.
“It would be nice if we received a more sustainable injection of funds from the Government because we believe that our work is resulting in industrialisation and creation of employment across the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chisanga appealed to Government to consider creating a much bigger development fund to be managed by ZDA which would operate at affordable interest rates while supporting local exporters with all mechanisms in place. He said the development fund would be a built up on the ZDA’s Zambia Export Development fund which was targeted at entrepreneurs in the export sector especially in non-traditional export (NTEs) sector.
“We have a small fund under the Zambia Export Development fund which is targeted at those entrepreneurs in the export sector in non-traditional export sector,
“It has had some impact in many non-traditional areas; the growth of flowers which have a very good export market, those who are in honey production which is now becoming a major export out of our country,” he said.
Mr Chisanga said funds of such nature were being created in many countries with preferential interest rates.
“The point is that it is a small fund, what we have recommended as ZDA is Government to consider creating a much bigger development fund which will operate at affordable interest rates with all mechanisms in place,
“This can be a build-up on what we are doing under ZEF to support exporters and emerging entrepreneurs,” he said.