Thursday, January 21, 2021

New scheme to empower small citizen investors, women and youths

Small citizen investors, mostly women and youths, are inline for a business windfall following a new Citizen Empowerment initiative announced by government this week.

Permanent Secretary to the President, Eric Molale, has issued instructions to all Government Ministries and Departments that “from now henceforth, all Decorations, Arts and Crafts and related goods and services that shall be procured for all public offices, including those of Parastatals, Local Authorities and wholly owned Government companies, must be bought from citizens and/or 100% citizen owned companies.

The Permanent Secretary to the President has also directed that preference should be given to youth and women individuals and groups.

The Ministries of Trade and Industry and Youth, Sports and Culture, as well as Labour and Home Affairs, have been tasked with monitoring progress of this initiative and to report on its implementation on a quarterly basis.

The Directive has also been communicated to PPADB for implementation and monitoring purposes, while the Ministries of Local Government and Lands and Housing have been instructed to further inform their Local Authorities of its content to ensure compliance.
In another empowerment drive aimed at small scale caterers and vendors, the PSP directed that steps be taken to reserve reasonable space in the foyers and reception areas of various public buildings and offices so as to allow small scale caterers and vendors to sell their goods. Such spaces shall be allocated for free.

Further to the above, guidelines are to be drawn up within Ministries for the implementation of the Directive in order to ensure that transparent rules are first put into place as to how to select its commercial beneficiaries, as well as to determine the specific locations and otherwise prescribe the manner in which such businesses shall be carried out.
In addition to designated Government offices, the Directive will also be
applied to Parastatals, Local Authorities and wholly-owned Government companies.

May 2 has also been gazetted as a public holiday.

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