On November 22, Zambian Minister of Finance Situmbeko Musokotwane and U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Michael Gonzales launched two critical economic development projects funded by the U.S. government – the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Business Enabling Project and USAID TradeBoost.
These projects will improve business opportunities, create jobs, and increase incomes for Zambians working in the agriculture, clean energy, trade, and ecotourism sectors.
The USAID Business Enabling Project is a $14 million (almost 233 million kwacha) project that will bring inclusive private sector investment and trade to Zambia with a focus on supporting greater opportunities for women in the economy. By strengthening communication between government, industry, and civil society this project will improve policies and business processes to create and expand economically-viable enterprises.
USAID TradeBoost is a $30 million (almost 500 million kwacha) investment project in Zambia through Prosper Africa’s flagship Africa Trade and Investment program. Its overarching goal is to increase trade and investment nationally, regionally, and internationally that generates inclusive economic growth, particularly for women and youth, through climate-friendly economic approaches. Both projects will counter the rising food insecurity caused by multiple shocks including COVID-19, changing weather patterns, and Russia’s war against Ukraine.
During the launch event, U.S. Ambassador Michael Gonzales noted, “By making it easier to do business and connect with trading partners, these projects will help Zambian businesses to produce more, create jobs, and provide a broader variety of healthy food options in markets. Adding value within Zambia to agricultural commodities and reaching new export markets means more money will reach Zambian workers’ pockets. At the same time, increasing food production and exports will vastly improve food security both locally and across the continent. It will also help to prevent malnutrition by providing a more nutritious and diversified menu of foods to Zambians and our brothers and sisters throughout the continent.”
The USAID Business Enabling Project and USAID TradeBoost will work side-by-side with other existing U.S. government-funded economic development projects to create an environment that addresses trade, agriculture, clean energy, and eco-tourism challenges while providing women and youth greater access to finance and capital. The programs will incentivize climate-friendly growth and build value chains linking rural areas to larger markets.