LUSAKA, March 22, 2012 -- Sri Mulyani Indrawati, World Bank managing director for Zambia, launched the One-Stop Shop and Business e-Registry in Lusaka, where she told those gathered that the one-stop service is a very strategic first step for Zambia’s goal to improve the business environment. It will provide all the necessary information for the private sector and, most importantly, house all the necessary business registration documents under one roof.
In a jubilant ceremony, Indrawati jointly cut the ribbon with Robert Sichinga, the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, to officially signal the launch of the Lusaka One-Stop Shop. This opening comes just one month after UN Secretary General Banki-moon opened the Livingstone border town One-Stop Shop, 600 kilometers from Lusaka.
Indrawati said that Zambia’s reform processes had put Zambia in seventh place among sub-Saharan African countries when it comes to the ease of doing business. She also told the Trade Minister that the one-stop shop alone is not enough; Zambia needs to speed up the process. She observed that the Zambian economy is over-dependent on copper mining and a few activities, which she said made the economy vulnerable. The economy would need to be rebuilt and diversified, she said.
Sichinga said that the one-stop shop was an important start.
“The one-stop shop and e-registry are two concrete steps we are taking to empower business in Zambia and we are committed to an all-encompassing program of business reform which will have a lasting impact on the private sector,” he said.
Indrawati said the e-registry will play a part in achieving the diversification program and job creation by encouraging the growth of the private sector, particularly the small and medium enterprises.
“Simplifying procedure and ensuring that you ease doing business here is actually the first step for the private sector to prosper as well as create jobs in this country,” she said, adding that the World Bank stands ready to assist Zambia in its economic diversification quest. “We are pleased to be Zambia’s partner in working towards a sustainable model of growth which relies not only on the exploration of natural resources, but also on the development of the country’s private sector.”
The World Bank Group, through its Investment Climate program, has been advising the Zambian government on business regulatory reforms since 2008.