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Zambia to launch first ever digital SMEs link

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Zambia will for the first time develop a digital application to link Small, Micro Enterprises (SMEs) in the informal economy to the Labour Market Information system.

Government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security by the National Productivity Development Department (NPDD) is conducting a survey in five provinces to understand the operations of SMES in the informal economy and to collect data on how SMEs can be included in the Labour Market Information System.

This is in partnership with international Labour Organisation on the joint decent work programme on the transformation of the informal economy.

The first phase of the process of survey has been completed, which was knowledge sharing of information in mainstreaming productivity, occupational safety and health and social security through digital inclusion in SMES in the informal economy.

The next phase is to identify youths skilled enough to create the digital application which is being spear-headed by the National Business Technology Centre (NBTC) where the informal economy will be included.

The survey will be conducted in Northern, Southern, Copperbelt, North-Western and Muchinga Province where the data will be collected and to explain what benefits this application will bring to their businesses.

Also in these provinces, NPDD is working with Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) group of companies to improve their productivity as such, is conducting productivity needs assessment for selected IDC member companies.

So far the department has conducted the needs Assessment at Zampalm Limited, which identified areas where the company needs to improve and how they can take advantage of prevailing political will to improve their productivity and improve their outputs.

The department further undertook a productivity needs assessment at Zambia Railways Limited seeing that it a company that has faced a number of challenges ranging from political to economic challenges but the company is striving to be a reliable company in terms of bulk transportation and transporting people in a safe way.

Areas of concern were highlighted and the company needs to take up a few innovative ideas and collaboration with key stakeholders and with a little time, the company’s efficiency will grow.

The Productivity Needs Assessment has not only been conducted on these two companies, but also the Trade Fair and Indeni on the Copperbelt Province and similar areas of interest being identified in these IDC companies.

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