Increasing accessbility of COMESA trade facilitation instruments by Zambian small and medium enterprises: case of ZDA affilated SME's.

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Chola, Sandra
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The University of Zambia
The aim of the study has been exploring the accessibility of COMESA TFIs by SMEs in Zambia. The objectives of the study were to describe the extent of TFIs Utilization in Zambia, understand the form the point of SMEs how they utilise, understand based on lay accounts barriers to utilization of COMESA TFIs by SMES in Zambia and Develop a Framework which SMEs could employ to capitalize on COMESA TFIs in Zambia.The study used a Questionnaire and an interview guide as key data collection instruments. There were 130 questionnaires that were distributed to respondents and 5 key informants. There were a total of 130 respondents, in which 82 were males and 48 were females, representing 63.1% and 36.9% respectively. The key informants had three males and two females respectively the results of the study revealed that 91.5% of the respondent said that they had never accessed Trade facilitation Instrument of COMESA while 8.5 % ever accessed TFIs. The findings also reveal another research objective results and one key objective was to do with extent of utilization of TFIs. The findings demonstrate many reasons views of respondents on use of TFI. As observed most respondents do not use TFI, reasons behind that are Lack of Adequate finance by SMEs (14.6%), SMEs do not understand and know role of COMESA (23.1%), Policy Implementation being poor (43.1%), and inadequate procedures and Logistics (14.6%). Furthermore, the study showed that there is a linkage between COMESA and SMEs which already exists. However, most SMEs are not still aware of the Programs of COMESA and lot of them lack connectivity and internet skills (10%), Lack of digital financial capacity by SMEs (43.1%), Lack of communication and information (31.5%), Lack of inclusiveness/biasness (11.5%). The findings also revealed study highlighted challenges they are faced with in respect to COMESA trade facilitation instruments. These are limited access to technology (14.6%), unfavorable business environment (20. %), Lack of Finance and Knowledge on COMESA Procedures (33.1%), Slow Digital Economic Integration (18.5%), Laws on customs and Trade Facilitations (13.1%).
Thesis of Master of Business Administration (General).