The Impact, if any, of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission in Zambia from inception to date
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The desire to empower citizens in Zambia has been a common call for all successive governments in one way or the other. Through the policy of nationalization, the government had hoped to plough all the nations' resources in on central place. The next government thought privatization was going to improve people's living standards through ownership of businesses. The failures of these programmes are well documented. Against this background the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act was enacted in 2006 and it gave birth to Zambia's first empowerment Commission whose sole purpose was to target the most vulnerable in Society. This study traced the background leading to the establishment of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission. Its functions and aims were fully discussed, in that it provides a mechanism through which citizens are empowered by being availed with loans for project finance and other start up businesses. This is done under chapter two which looked at the operations of the Commission in detail. Issues to do with interest rates applicable, the preferred form of collateral, the process of loan evaluation applicable documentation and eligibility requirements were the highlights of this chapter. The research under chapter three analyses the successes achieved as a result of the Commission's formation and its challenges have been documented as well. Factors that have contributed to the Commission's failure to perform adequately have been stated as including lack of financial resources both for administration or operational and actual find capital meant for loan approvals. Other challenges cited include poor staffing levels in districts other than the provincial capitals, shortage of skilled empowerment officers, failure to introduce online approvals as well as the stringent accounting financial statements as a prerequisite for loan finance for business applicants. Lack of autonomy, adequate office space as well as limited publicity concludes the challenges. The concern of chapter four was the analysis of the Empowerment Act's capacity in advancing the aims of the Commission. The empowerment trust fund has been discussed. The author concludes under chapter five that the Commission has not performed in a satisfactory manner and unless some of the concerns are addressed, in line with the recommendations, no meaningful impact shall be felt in the nearest future.
- Law