USAID, through International Development Finance has partnered with ABSA Bank Zambia PLC to provide up to 20 million dollars worth of affordable loans to small and medium enterprises in Zambia.
The historic partnership will see each institution contributing 50 percent of the total loan value of up to 10 million dollars.
Officiating at the event this morning, Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said access to affordable finance is a significant barrier facing small and medium enterprises in Zambia.
Dr Musokotwane said SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy as they account for over 80 percent of national employment.
And speaking at the same event, ABSA Bank Managing Director Mizinga Melu said the partnership will strengthen the Banks ability to provide loans to businesses in key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and clean energy and she is optimistic that this will play a critical role in stimulating the economic development.
And US Chargge’ d’ Affairs Sheryl Stumbras said investing in SMEs will lay a foundation for Zambia’s long term development.