Empower Zambia’s Entrepreneurship Spirit pleads Maambo Hamaaundu
By Ashton Kelly Bunda
Financial Analyst Maambo Hamaaundu observed that the spirit of entrepreneurship among women has been killed in Zambia following Governments imposition of tax on imported cooking oil, toiletries and other commodities.
Mr. Hamaaundu noted that lack of value addition machinery in Zambia compels women entrepreneurs to import commodities manufactured from groundnuts and soya beans.
While supporting competition and variety in a free market economy, Hamaaundu pointed toward encouraging a balance between products imported by Zambian female entrepreneurs and locally manufactured goods and products.
“It is sad that women have not been given a chance to manufacture or obtain products from outside markets, and cannot therefore compete effectively until the local manufacturing industry grows.
Hamaaundu is worried that once the taxation regime on maize is effected, the cost of importation will be passed on consumers.
Hamaaundu implored the Zambian Government to empower small scale farmers currently producing groundnuts, cashew nuts, maize and soya beans in the urban and rural areas, a value addition crop initially popularised by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) leadership, during Dr. Kenneth David Buchizya Kaunda’s 27-year-rule (Saturday 24th October 1964-31st October 1991).
“Small scale farmers have no equipment to turn groundnuts, maize and soya beans into edible oils export goods and improve the industrial base and grow the economy of Zambia. We have abundant God-given natural resources, land, minerals in Zambia, and for as long as the local market lack manufacturing equipment, this absence will act as a stumbling block,” Hamaaundu noted.
The Financial Analyst says a stagnant will frustrate Zambia’s target toward achieving the United Nations (UN) 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) on “Ending Poverty, Zero hunger, and the eighth goal on decent work and economic growth, spearheaded by globally admired UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon.
Before the SDG’s, former UN Secretary General, Dr. Koffi Annan, the respected Ghanaian diplomat had pushed the Millennium Development Goals(MDG) agenda.
Hamaaundu advised Finance Minister Felix Chipota Mutati and Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba to revisit the 2017 national budget proposals.
“My appeal to Mr. Mutati and Mr. Yamba is for them to revisit the 2017 national budget proposals as failure to do so will hamper projected growth and the one million jobs target set by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu,” advised Hamaaundu.
However, as Zambians wait for President Lungu’s one million jobs to come to reality, in their K64.5 billion 2017 National Budget, Mutati and Yamba set a target of 100,000 jobs annually in the next five years.