The citizen economic empowerment (Amendment) ACT 2010: Broad based citizen participation

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Chituwo, Pamela
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The aim of this research is to establish the principal objectives of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act and whether these objectives were subsequently met by the enactment of the Citizens Economic Empowerment(Amendment) Act. In order to reach this objective, this research aimed at identifying and highlighting firstly, the question of what the shortcomings of the Principal Act were and the reasons that led the enactment of the Amendment Act. The second question related to what changes were introduced by the Amendment Act and whether these changes effectively covered the deficiencies of the Principal Act. The third question that was addressed in this research was whether the change in the administration and disbursement of the Principal Act will fulfil the Acts intended objective relating to citizen empowerment. During the course of this research it was found that the shortcomings of the Principal Act were centred mainly on two issues. Namely, the lack of specifically providing for marginalised citizens as beneficiaries of the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission's mandate relating to empowerment and the administration of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund. It was found that specific provisions in the Principal Act were amended by the inclusion of targeted citizens and a change in the administration of the Fund was made to further the objective of citizen empowerment. In addition, the second question in this research as aforementioned was addressed by stating the specific changes that were introduced by the Amendment Act. The Commission has the mandate to provide certain services and to work in conjunction with other institutions in order to aid marginalised citizens. The Amendment Act made specific mention of targeted citizens as beneficiaries of the services provided by the Commission. Furthermore, there was also an amendment made to the administration of the Fund. The Principal Act provides for the Fund to be vested in the Commission but managed by various financial institutions and fund managers. In order for the Fund to be administered in line with the Principal Acts objective to empower targeted citizens, a change in its administration was made. There was a conflict between the financial institutions which lend money at high rates for profit and the Commission which lends money to empower citizens. Therefore, the Amendment Act remedied this conflict by providing that the Fund would be administered by the Commission.Consequently, the third question this research aimed at addressing was answered. In highlighting the fact that the Principal Act was amended to give the Commission the mandate to administer the Fund, at affordable rates, the objective to empower targeted citizens through the Fund was fulfilled. This research is based on qualitative data with the primary sources of information being the Principal Act and the Amendment Act. Parliamentary debates and Reports further gave insight into the reasons for the enactment of the Amendment Act. Various articles and internet sources on the importance of citizen participation in promoting a good investment climate were also made reference to. In conclusion, it was found that the provisions of the Amendment Act addressed and remedied the deficiencies of the Principal Act. However, this research identified that there are other costs that targeted beneficiaries may incur despite being offered assistance through the Fund. It is recommended therefore that the cost of setting up a business prior to being eligible for assistance from the Fund be reduced so as to promote an increase in citizen participation and subsequently encourage citizen empowerment.
Economic development--citizen participation--Zambia , Economic Empowerment--Citizen Participation