The Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) for the purposes of championing consolidated interventions and investments in rural Zambia as well as facilitating an enabling environment for productivity in rural communities.

The 5-year agreement will see the Commission provide operational and strategic business development services to technically and financially viable business projects located in rural growth centres, whereas, REA’s role will be to facilitate the provision of electricity infrastructure in rural areas with potential investment in order to attract private investors in such areas.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, CEEC Director General, Likando Mukumbuta stated that the signing of the agreement was a significant stride in fulfilling the Commission’s mandate of promoting broad-based economic empowerment for targeted citizens.

Mr. Mukumbuta pointed out that through its strategy of citizen driven industrialisation, that is already showing promising success, the Commission is now one of the leading agents of Government in rural industrialisation. Therefore, this collaboration will enable CEEC to recommend potential areas to REA for consideration and electricity connection to actualise the objectives of rural investment.

“We have numerous examples of medium scale manufacturing plants that are either operational or under installation in districts like Zimba, Nakonde, Chama, Mwense, Mungwi, Mumbwa, Solwezi and Mfuwe, all with a goal to reposition the role of the indigenous majority in the Zambian economy by increasing their level and share of ownership in business and enterprise as well as their ability to take the lead in the transformation of the economy to make it more competitive, diversified and a value adding one”, he said.

Mr. Mukumbuta further stated that through the construction of Industrial Yards, the Commission is accelerating rural industrialisation in various parts of the country.

“Construction of the Industrial Yards is expected to be completed by the end of August 2019, and the workshops will be occupied by targeted MSMEs in light manufacturing, steel, wood and auto-motive works. The entrepreneurs will also benefit from equipment loans, use larger equipment on hire from within the yards such as motor vehicle spray baths, compressors, kilns, etc. We project that 4, 000 direct jobs will be created in the yards and will see Zambia develop into an industrial hub where both rural and urban communities are participating in development”, he said.

Released by PR & Communications Unit

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