Covid

African small-scale traders are the backbone of economies in Africa and should be provided with some form of relief during this period in order for them to survive, a traders association has said.

The Cross-border Traders Association of Zambia said in an interview with Xinhua that the survival of smaller business largely depends on policies that governments put in place now to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cross-border Association of Zambia Chairperson Goodson Mbewe explained that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have minimal capital reserves, which makes them more vulnerable to financial shock, hence the need for governments to seriously consider looking into emergency measures aimed at providing relief to these businesses.

“What we need right now are measures that will help give relief to small and medium-size traders’ current situation. Governments must ensure that these businesses do not go into bankruptcy because that would automatically increase the burden on governments,” Mbewe told Xinhua on Wednesday.

According to him, empowering small and medium-scale traders by providing funds and other incentives to help boost their businesses would also work to reduce unemployment levels in the southern Africa nation where unemployment is particularly high.

“Countries should be working on holding of consultative meetings between governments and traders’ associations so as to chart the way forward,” he added.

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