Finland grants EUR 9 million to Zambia's Private Sector Development efforts. The aim of the new programme is to ease access to financing, create more trade and ease the access to business services. The programme is under Zambia's Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
Finland's long standing support to Private Sector Development in Zambia continues with a new grant programme, Accelerated Growth Programme (AG programme), that aims to support the development of Micro, Small and Medium (MSME) Enterprises in Zambia. The programme will be under Zambia's Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. The key stakeholders from the government side, such as Zambia Development Agency and National Business and Technology Council have been invited to supervise the programme as well.
The grant will go directly to MSME Development through improved access to finance, access to innovation and access to business development services. The programme intends to work together with universities, companies and government stakeholders to improve the ecosystem in total. The goals of the programme are to create more jobs, increase turnovers, expand trade relations and increase the number of Zambian and Finnish companies trading.
The approach is quite new to the Finnish Government which has in the last years supported vastly the environmental sector and the development of social insurance systems in Zambia through different grant schemes and budget support. Finland is slowly gearing down its assistance to Zambia and focusing more directly to trade relations and business development aiming to go beyond aid in the coming future.
Ambassador of Finland to Zambia, H.E. Mr. Timo Olkkonen sees the programme reflecting new kind of thinking for the Government of Finland:
- Where in the past we were more focused on the direct support to the governments' efforts, we are now more focusing on implementing the programme together to the direct benefit of the private sector. We have quite a large number of investment mechanisms and instruments in Finland that encourage and de-risk investments to emerging economies. We are now inspiring Zambian companies, with our financial and technical help, to match the Finnish private sector's interest within Zambia and at the same time grow the whole economy.
Inquiries: Mr. Matti Tervo, Counsellor, Embassy of Finland, tel. +260977 741 977
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