The National Savings and Credit Bank of Zambia, NATSAVE, have said it plans to help in securing about 200,000 jobs in the country through its revolving loan scheme and other channels of support to the Small and Medium-scale Enterprise sector.
The Chief Executive Officer of the government-owned agency, Mukwandi Chibesakundi, made this known during an exclusive interview with African Leadership Magazine UK.
According to the CEO, “We have a partnership with the Zambia National Marketeers Credit Association, which has about 500,000 members. We have structured a revolving fund that allows their members access funds, upon payment by those who had initially accessed the fund. In our view, for everyone involved in the SME sector, they are dealing with at least four other people, from members of their families to members of staff.”
Continuing, she said that,” in terms of other SMEs we have a portfolio of companies that have access to our loans in the area of Agriculture. We have a perfect example of a particular business that grew from an SME farmer to a large and commercial holding. He now has an investment in a milling plant, which will, in turn, boost the staple food production of the country.”
“We are also working with other corporates that support SMEs, and by working with them, we try to eliminate some of the risks that may arise. In terms of the numbers, we believe that we will be helping on a minimum about 200,000 people, and more, because, again, we have to look at the multiplier effect,” she said.
She also harped on the need for clients to approach any branch of the Bank to discuss loan repayment holiday, as requests will be treated on a case by case basis.
NATSAVE is a Government-owned Non-Bank Financial Institution that was established in 1972. The Bank has continued to prioritize support for SMEs as the engine room for economic growth and development.
The interview is part of the African Leadership Magazine’s Facebook Live series, designed to help in espousing Africa-inspired solutions to current challenges arising from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also intended to present refreshing views about the continent in the wake of the gloomy predictions by experts on the future of the continent.