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Zambia: Facilitating Inclusive and Gender-equitable Rural Economic Growth

USAID Business Enabling Project


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.

Goals and Results

The Project has two mutually reinforcing objectives:

  • Streamline/improve processes and policies that catalyze gender-equitable private sector investment in target sectors.
  • Strengthen informed decision-making for Government of Zambia policy implementation and formulation through linkages with strengthened civil society organizations and the private sector, where women’s interests are equally represented.

The goals of the Project are to:

  • Reduce rural poverty and promote inclusive growth.
  • Catalyze private sector investment and trade in rural areas.
  • Promote innovation and technology for economic growth.
  • Enhance gender inclusion and empowerment.
  • Facilitate a strong business enabling environment through improved policy formulation and implementation processes.
  • Strengthen informed decision-making for policy implementation and linkages between the government, civil society, and the private sector.
  • Build capacity of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector.
2022 - 2027
Implemented by
DT Global US
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