A Supply Chain Solution Opens Career Opportunities for Youth

3 min readMar 21, 2024

By Abinaidah Chaseba, eSCMIS Project Communications Lead

The USAID-funded Electronic Supply Chain Management Information System (eSCMIS) project is not merely an endeavor to digitize supply chain management; it is also giving young Zambians science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career opportunities.

The project has rolled out a next generation electronic supply chain management system, which has enabled Zambia to reduce medical product stock out and wastage. The project has also taken a proactive approach to workforce development, engaging young professionals to learn to code and develop skills in health program management. eSCMIS incorporates these youth into key roles, including software development, finance, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, information technology, and operations. This fosters a dynamic workforce, aligned with the country’s digital transformation goals.

These budding members of the workforce discuss their professional development journeys into STEM through the eSCMIS project:

“My role involves improving the functionality of the eLMIS [electronic logistics management information system]: making it effective, running as it should, and user-friendly.” Diana Ndhlovu, a software development intern in the project’s MIS department, supports the help desk, overcoming challenges faced by facilities such as upgrading USAID DISCOVER hubs with the latest version of the eLMIS. Diana, who graduated in 2021, says that her “previous internships were not challenging in terms of software engineering. The USAID eSCMIS project allowed me to put into practice what I studied and experience the work I am truly passionate about.”

“I have been tracking eLMIS inventory across all provinces, supporting facilities, and ensuring no lags in eLMIS implementation,” says Malambo Buleze, an information technology intern who tracks IT inventory with the project. Looking to the future, Malambo is confident that his “hands-on experience will help me open my own organization that will help companies transition from paper-based to digital systems.”

Natasha Chilemu, a finance intern, is learning how to process payments. “This internship opportunity is laying a foundation for my career, because I am getting a first-hand look at how finance works and the different things that need to be in place for financial procedures to run smoothly,” she says.

Young professionals like Diana, Malambo, and Natasha bring diverse skills and fresh perspectives to the project. This inclusive workforce approach is contributing to project’s and the country’s ability to navigate the complexities of digital supply chain management, improving availability and accessibility of essential health care products.

The eSCMIS project goes beyond the immediate scope of health care supply chain digitization; it’s also promoting entrepreneurship and community development. Malambo’s goal of opening his own company exemplifies the project’s potential for long-term external benefits. As these young professionals venture into their own endeavors, they will inspire and hire other young people and create a cycle of innovation and opportunity in Zambia.

A version of this story was first published by John Snow Health Zambia, Ltd. at https://johnsnowhealth.com/news-stories/




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