State keen to boost women, youth businesses
By MAILESI BANDA GOVERNMENT says it is steadily implementing policies and interventions targeted at encouraging the participation of women in entrepreneurship, business growth and national building.
Minister of Finance Margeret Mwanakatwe said Government had lined up the economic sector to coordinate and explore the growth potential and expansion of women and youth-led businesses.
She added that history had shown that businesses created by women and the youth tend to grow in a more exponential and stable manner.
The minister said there was need for the country to learn from past challenges in managing empowerment programmes in order to advance the empowerment of women through prudent, transparent and accountable management of empowerment programmes.
“As Government we have lined up a number of activities that will see women benefit and participate in the economic development of the country.
“And since we have learnt through experiences that women are good business managers we hope to support more women,” she said.
Ms. Mwanakatwe said as part of the government’s commitment to support women in the 2018 budget, a provision of K75.5 million for educational support and grants had been made targeting 16,000 girls with a further 75,000 women expected to benefit from grants.
She explained that Government had also given out agricultural development and value chain enhancement programmes through which the government had been providing agricultural equipment in chiefdoms to support women clubs and cooperatives.
She said most of the rural women had so far benefitted from the Farmer Input Support Programme
“The implementation of the farmer input support programme (FISP) through the e-voucher programme under the Ministry of Agriculture has seen a number of women benefit.
“A number of women have benefitted in all the 113 districts across the country from a provision of K1.78 billion which has been made in the 2018 national budget for this programme,” she said.
Minister of Finance Margret Mwanakatwe