Feature: Mobile traders bring goods closer to Zambia's rural, remote communities-Xinhua

Feature: Mobile traders bring goods closer to Zambia's rural, remote communities

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-30 22:05:30

LUSAKA, April 30 (Xinhua) -- In the rural areas of Zambia, quiet changes are unfolding in the way villagers access goods and services, all thanks to the rise of mobile traders. This approach, promoted by urban traders seeking to broaden their market reach, is gaining popularity across the southern African country.

While some of these merchants do not have specific trading locations but travel from village to village in search of customers, others use weekly or monthly markets to sell a wide range of goods. They carry a variety of goods and spend days and sometimes weeks in rural and remote parts of the country; they can be found in different trading areas on different days of the week.

From groceries to clothing to simple electronic gadgets such as mobile phone accessories, mobile traders are making it easier for rural dwellers to access essential commodities without spending money on transportation.

"Access to basic commodities has been a challenge for us living in remote areas. With mobile traders visiting regularly, we no longer have to make the expensive and time-consuming trip to town just to buy food or necessities. These traders have really made our lives easier," said Lister Mumba, 48, from Luansobe, a rural area in the central province of Copperbelt.

Martin Sokoni, 32, a rural dweller from the Liteta area in the Chibombo District of Central Province, pointed out that mobile traders enable rural residents to spend less time buying food and more time on productive ventures.

Interactions with the mobile traders revealed that they have not only helped bridge the gap between rural and urban areas in terms of access to necessities, but that their businesses are taking off.

By bringing a diverse range of products directly to villagers, mobile trading has catalyzed economic growth and created opportunities for small-scale entrepreneurs to thrive.

Sarah Mwansa, 42, a garment trader from Kabwe, the capital of Central Province, said being a mobile trader has significantly increased her sales.

"My sales have increased by over 50 percent since I started displaying my goods at various trading places in Central and Copperbelt provinces two years ago," she explained.

Mwansa's sentiments were echoed by Rosemary Tembo, 31, also a mobile trader from Lusaka, Zambia's capital, who trades in plastic kitchen utensils, and said mobile trading offers small-scale traders more market opportunities than being stationed in one area.