Challenges facing women in accessing credit from the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission of Zambia: The case of cross border traders
Samasumo, Bruce Lutangu
MetadataShow full item record
This research critically analyses the extent to which a government organisation, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission of Zambia (CEEC) established by the CEE Act, empowers the country’s women Cross Border Traders (CBTs) in the establishment and growth of their businesses. The CEE Act forms part of a wider policy and legal regional COMESA framework to promote and facilitate CBT, most of which is carried out by women who operate small businesses in the informal sector. Adopting the grounded Women’s Law Approach, which has a strong feminist and human rights emphasis, the researcher examines in great detail the legal and other challenges faced by both formal and informal women CBTs in their attempts to access the loans offered by the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEE Fund). The Fund is specifically intended to benefit marginalised groups, especially women in the informal sector, who have been historically disadvantaged and excluded from Zambia’s recent privatisation drive. Relying on the voices of informal women and men CBTs at four popular Zambian CBT centres, government and NGO officials, relevant legal, policy and other literature, the researcher discovers that there are several challenges which prevent women, especially informal CBTs, from accessing the Fund. Most of these factors arise directly from the fact that the specific gendered needs of the lived working realities of women in business, in general, and in informal CBT, in particular, were not seriously investigated prior to the drafting of the Act. As a result, their specific needs were not accommodated in the design or operations of the Commission or its Fund. Consequently, the research found that both female and male informal CBTs eschew the Fund, preferring to operate their businesses autonomously and to borrow from their own informal co-operative-type revolving fund whenever they need funds to sustain them. Prior to making some recommendations to improve the situation, the researcher also highlights certain other weaknesses inherent in the establishment, management and control of the Commission and its Fund including inadequate funding, lack of independence and poor staffing.
Additional Citation InformationSamasumo, B. L. (2014). Challenges facing women in accessing credit from the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission of Zambia: The case of cross border traders (Unpublished master's thesis). Women’s Law, Southern and Eastern African Regional Centre for Women’s Law, University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe
Citizens Economic Empowerment Act
cross boarder trade
funding for women