Zambia is tackling poverty by improving the business system in their country. With the help of donors, the government has been able to implement extensive business reforms to help entrepreneurs and businesses thrive.
Changes to business in Zambia include decreasing the time it takes to create a new business and simplifying licensing requirements. Because of these improvements, Zambia has been ranked the number seven country in sub-Saharan Africa for its ease in doing business. In 2012, Zambia was reclassified as a lower-middle-income country.
However, these changes have not been able to overturn much of the poverty in the country. According to the latest human development index, Zambia is still ranked 141 out of 187 countries in wealth. Though some people are better off as a result of these business changes, many people are still living with extreme poverty and inequality.
A large reason for this contradiction of ideas is that many of the implemented business reforms only benefit large businesses. Small businesses are left with their own abilities. Investment in the private sector is necessary to see overall development in Zambia.
The small businesses can offer large amounts of employment. They are also able to contribute largely to the national GDP. By investing in these small businesses, the country as a whole can prosper significantly.
Emmanuel Chenda, minister of local government and housing in Zambia, revealed a new strategy to increase employment and decrease poverty: “Cabinet recently approved the National Strategy for Industrialization and Job Creation, a comprehensive outline of the steps we are taking as the government to create jobs. My interest is to ensure that we work hard to implement that strategy and create at least one million jobs over the medium term.”
By creating these jobs and investing in the small businesses across the country, poverty and inequality can be minimized, and the country can prosper as a whole.
– Hannah Cleveland