Zambia’s economy can benefit by diversifying its production and export structure from low value products, dominated by primary commodities, to high value products. In rural areas, the primary economic activities are subsistence and small-scale farming, while industrial activity and jobs are concentrated in urban centers. Despite progress and many strong policies in Zambia, challenges such as duplicative regulations and licensing, siloed information, and policy implementation gaps create an unfavorable business environment, constraining private sector investment particularly in rural areas. These challenges often disproportionately affect women and women-led businesses.
The Business Enabling Project will facilitate an enabling environment for increased private-sector investments in agriculture, eco-tourism, energy, sustainable natural resource management, and trade in rural areas of Zambia. The Project will prioritize actions that enhance women’s economic participation across all components of the project, including business enabling policy reform, public-private dialogue, and institutional strengthening. The Project will strengthen policy implementation and effective communication across and between the Zambian government, private sector, and civil society. It will also promote greater engagement between the public and private sectors on key challenges facing businesses in rural areas. By improving government regulations, and creating more business-friendly processes and requirements, the Project will contribute to USAID’s development objectives in Zambia, in particular, reducing rural poverty through enterprise-driven, inclusive Economic Growth & Trade.
The Project has two mutually reinforcing objectives:
The goals of the Project are to: