Zambia and South Africa have partnered in a private sector working group designed to generate a framework that targets the smooth flow of essential goods and services amid the Covid-19 lockdown imposed by most Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries.
Speaking at an economic sustainability and emergence purpose meeting, Minister of Finance Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu said that government supports the value chain and will continue to empower both long and short term local businesses.
Dr. Ng’andu advised the Zambian private sector to actively participate in the value chain and take advantage of the internal market platforms while preserving quality standards, consistent supply and firm prices.
And South African High Commissioner George Twala said his office is ready to work with the Zambian government to enable strengthened engagements between the private sector players of the two countries and ensure that the value and supply chains are kept afloat.
Speaking at the same event, Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) President Jerome Kawesha called on South African Chain stores to engage the Zambian Private sector regularly in order to deal with the perception that they deliberately constrain access of local products into their supermarkets and hotels.
We would like to see South African businesses in Zambia signing off take agreements with our people,Dr Kawesha said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Professor Nkandu Luo disclosed that her ministry is in the process of conducting an inventory of import-export livestock permits.
She explained that Covid-19 has presented an opportunity for the country to adopt an evidence based approach in assessing the impact of processed cross-border consumer products on the well-being of citizens.
Transport and Communication Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya said his ministry engaged the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in the logistical chain in order to develop guidelines and rules for cross-border transporters during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
Contributing to the deliberations, Shoprite General Manager Charles Bota encouraged local small-scale businesses to form cooperatives and benefit from economies of scale, value addition and quality business schemes.