The Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) advocates for labour and industrial relations. ZFE’s members have requested that the organizations’ mandate include legal and regulatory environmental issues. ZFE’s lack of research and evidence creates confusion and inconsistency about their policies. Examples of this inconsistency include ZFE’s position on issues such as the minimum wage and maternity leave compensation. The organization is also lacking a clear Business Agenda to guide advocacy efforts. The Zambian government does not recognize ZFE’s goals as they are perceived by being unnecessarily competitive.
How employers' organizations dealt with it
In 2012, the Zambia EESE Assessment was led by ZFE in collaboration with social partners and business membership organizations.
ZFE was able to provide the private sector with evidence of obstacles to enterprises in Zambia. The private sector mandated ZFE to take the lead and develop a business agenda to develop an advocacy policy for ZFE and the entire private sector of Zambia.
ZFE then initiated development of the National Private Sector Business Agenda of Zambia which was followed by the formation of the Private Sector Alliance of Zambia. The Alliance is not to be considered as a business membership organization but as a means to launch the implementation of the National Private Sector Business Agenda.
The agenda was completed with the Zambia EESE Outcomes and industry sector Focus Group Discussions and Interviews.
The Zambia EESE Report contributed to the National Business AgendaTripartite Action Plan and enhanced the environment for sustainable enterprise. The National Private Sector Business Agenda of Zambia guided the private sector in its advocacy for 2014 – 2016. This report was also aligned with the Sixth National Development Plan.
To increase engagement between the government and ZFE, Business Membership Organizations in Zambia formed the technical committee the Private Sector Alliance of Zambia. The private sector now has an agenda as well as an implementation strategy to engage with development partners.
The immediate and expected long-term result
The once fragmented ideas of the private sector are now united under the Private Sector Alliance of Zambia. The agenda is recognized by the government and the Alliance is leading the implementation of the National Private Sector Business Agenda for the next three years. The Private Sector Alliance called for a platform to engage the government.
The implementation of the Tripartite Action Plan will contribute to Zambia’s EESE outcomes. The National Private Sector Business Agenda will help to guide advocacy efforts. Larger support, as well as better tracking of interventions and follow-ups is expected for 2014-2016.