Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, John Mulongoti, has reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring that the business environment in Zambia is favorable for the growth and expansion of the private sector.
Mr Mulongoti says this is evidenced by the existence of the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA) which provides the legal framework for an efficient, cost-effective and accessible business licensing system that eases the process of conducting business in the country.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Planning and Information in the same ministry, Edwin Zimba, at the official opening of the 2023 Regulators Forum at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka today.
Mr Mulongoti said this year’s regulators’ forum held under the theme ‘Embracing best regulatory practices’, is highly commendable as it complements the government’s efforts aimed at improving the regulatory environment for businesses to thrive.
He said government acknowledges the innovative approaches being undertaken by various regulators to foster efficient and effective regulations.
He further noted that the theme for this year’s event is specially focused on risk based regulations, adding that the theme promotes the adoption of efficient and cost effective approaches to regulation.
“The risk based regulations will help us to realise policy objectives in a more efficient and cost effective way, by focusing on sectors and activities that pose the highest risk,” Mr Mulongoti said.
Mr Mulongoti further said the approach will eliminate constraints in the business environment and promote growth for micro, small and medium sized enterprises which make up the larger population of Zambian citizens.
And Business Regulatory Review Agency Executive Director, Sharon Sichilongo, said this year’s regulators’ forum is being held at a time when government’s call for elimination of burdensome regulatory requirements and procedures is very loud and clear.
Mrs. Sichilongo said organisations operating in the regulatory space need to analyse the regulations and see the impact they have on business with a view to create a conducive regulatory environment.
“It is the agency’s considered view that risk based regulation should be an integral part of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) and going forward, the agency is anticipating more support to mainstream risk-based regulation approach in the RIA,” Mrs Sichilongo said.
Meanwhile, World Bank Senior Private Sector Specialist, Soujanya Chodauarapu, said that the bank will remain committed to providing support to Zambia through investments.
“We welcome the validation and adoption of the risk-based regulation guidelines and we encourage their use among Zambian regulators,” Ms Chodauarapu said.