New Digital Trade Hub to boost Zambian businesses online

27 March 2024
ITC News

Small businesses in Livingstone, the country’s top tourism destination, can now benefit from the ITC ecomConnect Learning Programme’s suite of digital tools and training.

The programme, a collaboration between the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Absa Bank Zambia Plc, aims to unlock the potential of online business for growing trade.

‘The initiative represents a significant milestone in our efforts to foster economic development and empower our local entrepreneurs,’ Livingstone Mayor Constance Muleabai said at the launch on 14 March.

‘Our city is also home to a vibrant community of small and medium enterprises striving to succeed in an increasingly digital world,’ she said. ‘Today we take a bold step forward in supporting these businesses on their journey towards ecommerce excellence.’

The new hub will offer free access to a mix of online and offline resources:

  • Dedicated e-learning platform with self-driven training tailored to Zambian needs
  • Online support to get first-hand advice and feedback from the experts.
  • E-commerce focus groups, technical workshops and webinars to share knowledge about e-commerce topics.
  • Free access to e-learning materials and ITC’s e-commerce tools
  • Benefits ITC’s partnerships with local and international marketplaces such as eBay and Novica, and logistics and payment providers like DHL and Payoneer, to access additional capacity building, technical support and preferential rates.

‘The focus we have in this hub is really to drive business enablement, business linkages, and linkages to finance for small and medium enterprises,’ said Owen Malambo, Director of Digital and Technology at Absa Bank Zambia. ‘This would include startups, and any businesses already existing.’

The new programme in Zambia forms part of ITC’s Digital Moonshot, a cross-cutting effort to make sure that small businesses in developing countries can reap the benefits of the digital economy.

‘Our ultimate goal is for these hubs to become self-sufficient and diversify their income streams,’ said Daniel Chileshe, ITC’s Digital Moonshot Lead in Zambia. ‘Following this event, we will be launching a call for applications for businesses to participate in a five-month e-commerce programme.’

The selected businesses will receive free training, backed by in-person consultancy from ITC to ensure they complete the programme and can access additional resources.