Launch Meeting

The BETAMPOR project was launched on March 13, 2011. A one day meeting was organised through inviting the press and a number of relevant stakeholders involved with the process of planning and implementation of the Aid for Trade (AfT) agenda in Zambia, in general, and the EIF agenda, in particular.

The meeting provided a platform for, especially the media, to build a common understanding of the project – its definition, scope and approach so as to foster easier future follow-ups on the state of implementation. It was graced by the Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Sinikka Antila, representatives of the government and the National Implementation Unit (NIU).

Preliminary engagement with stakeholders

Prior to the launch of the project, a mission was carried by CUTS staff in two provinces. The aim was to engage with the identified beneficiaries of the project and depict the general state of affairs (constraints and opportunities) for benchmarking purposes. The two provinces were Copperbelt and Luapula.

In Copperbelt, a group called Cinciwababli was met. Cinciwababli is a cooperative that was initially a small group of farmers who came together to see how they can earn living through daily farming – from animals that had been donated to them by Heifer International. Each family concerned was given a cattle each and obliged to pass any off springs to the next family. With an initial animal stock of 25, Cinciwababli women group now has about 80 animals as of 2010 with an average collection of 10 liters per individual every day. The membership has since risen from 25 from inception to the current 45. However, despite this positive trend, the women group faces a number of challenges and the BETAMPOR project seeks to link such women groups with initiatives such as the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) process

In Luapula province, CUTS speaks to Samuel Simute (CUTS Focal Point) who highlights some of the potential sectors for trade and investment in the province.

Provincial workshops

There are six provinces earmarked in the BETAMPOR project from the nine provinces in Zambia and all of them are endowed with good economic potential. The challenge is to convert this potential into a reality. A possible pathway to address this challenge is to establish the role of trade as a means for poverty reduction. While this exploration is happening for a long time, there is hardly any attempt to do so from the point of view of community participation (the role and responsibilities of communities in participatory and inclusive growth).

Community awareness on the role of trade in poverty reduction, supply-side challenges and related issues are important factors to be looked at to facilitate people’s participation in the growth process. The BETAMPOR projects seeks to address this challenge. In this regard, three provincial workshops for the first year have been conducted. These workshops also provided a platform for the formation of EIF provincial charters which will act as a reference point for NIU and CUTS.