The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) has welcomed the creation of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and is optimistic that the ministry will play a key role in helping to strengthen SME growth and productivity in the country. ZABS Executive Director Manuel Mutale says the institution is eager to work with the new Ministry in improving the performance of the sector for it to reach Governments growth objectives.

Mr. Mutale says the Bureau is alive to the many challenges SMEs in the country have been facing including market access and that the institution will work with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises to ensure that the programs that ZABS is implementing for the sector are upscaled. He explained that ZABS has put in place programs such as the Certified Local Supplier Scheme, the Good Agricultural Practices, and Good Manufacturing Practices training programs to support innovations and assist SMEs to comply with quality requirements as well as market requirements. The expectation is that through these programs, SMEs can better position themselves for growth opportunities locally and within the region. The bureau has also noted with delight that SMEs that have embraced the scheme have obtained market access to various chain stores in the Country.

Mr. Mutale has further thanked His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Hakainde Hichilema for his assurance of the Governments’ support to ZABS and other related bodies. The President in his speech during the opening of the 13th session of the National Assembly said that Government will strengthen the operations of ZABS and other related bodies to ensure products are certified for quality and are accepted globally.