THE business community at Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) business centre has bemoaned the cost of conducting business.
Speaking to the Daily Nation, Mr Rogers Kamanga, a trader at COMESA market said the business community was faced with many challenges that were affecting their businesses.
He cited some of the challenges as high electricity tariffs and transport which he attributed to the high cost of living in the country.
Mr Kamanga said high electricity costs were detrimental to poverty reduction in Zambia and urged the Government to immediately intervene and regulate it as the country celebrated its 50 years of independence.
He said the real issue on the ground was that the cost of living had risen sharply placing an unbearable burden on the working class.
“The cost of doing business is so high and high electricity tariffs and transportation has contributed to the hike in the prices of essential commodities,” he said.
Mr Kamanga said ZESCO must accept that they were the cause of the high cost of living causing people to hike prices of goods and services.
Mr Kamanga said he could not understand why Zambia had expensive fuels compared to other countries, and that the only way for business community to grow was to have affordable transport means, which he said was a hindrance to boosting business in Zambia.
He said the COMESA initiative was one of the important programmes aimed at reducing poverty, as many small-scale traders would be encouraged to engage in cross border business, hence uplifting their living standards and also making significant contributions to economic development.