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PRESIDENT Lungu congratulates Ministry of Labour long serving staff Kakoma Chivunda during Labour Day Celebration in Lusaka yesterday. On the right is Minister Labour of Joyce Simukoko. PICTURE: ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS

200,000 jobs annually coming

PRESIDENT Lungu says Government intends to create a minimum of 200,000 jobs annually with serious commitment to promotion of decent work.

And the President says the proposal by Zesco to increase electricity tariffs by 75 percent is inevitable if the country’s economy is to grow.
The President said to attain the goal of higher employment creation, Government has finalised the Seventh National Development Plan, which contains appropriate policies and structural reforms which will be implemented over the medium term.  
He said this in Lusaka yesterday when he addressed hundreds of workers who gathered at the Freedom Statue to commemorate International Labour Day.
“The plan highlights priorities which include economic diversification, job creation, reduced poverty and creating a conducive governance environment for a diversified economy,” he said.
President Lungu said Government attaches great importance to promotion and realisation of decent work without which no sustainable socio-economic development can take place.
He said Government is determined to actualise decent work for all by implementing policies, strategies and programmes that will foster sustainable development.
“This will significantly contribute to realising employment creation, human development and broad-based inclusive growth,” he said.
The President said special attention has been placed on increased investment in developing infrastructure such as roads, schools and health facilities country wide to lay a firm foundation for increased investment in other areas of the economy to create jobs.
He said Government will continue investing in agriculture and tourism, which have the highest potential to create wealth and employment.
President Lungu said Government’s goal is to ensure that no-one is left behind as the country prospers.
“Our country is determined to realise Sustainable Development Goal number eight, which focuses on decent work and economic growth,” he said.  
President Lungu also said Government has received US$30 million from the African Development Bank for implementation of the skills development and entrepreneurship project.  
He said the project is aimed at supporting financing and implementation of industrial yards in selected districts where value addition programmes will be undertaken such as the cassava commercialisation initiative.
“Apart from supporting skills development and entrepreneurship, the project will create over 16,000 jobs,” the President said.
And President Lungu said the proposal by Zesco to increase electricity tariffs by 75 percent is inevitable because that is the only way Zambia’s economy is going to grow.
He was responding to Zambia Congress of Trade Unions president Chishimba Nkole, who asked the Energy Regulation Board not to entertain the proposal to increase electricity tariffs, saying it will be a burden on workers, who are already strained by the increased cost of living.
President Lungu said he will not make decisions just to keep himself in office after 2021.
“There is Zambia after me. I will only make decisions which benefit the country,” he said.
Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) president Wesley Chishimba said provision of decent work should be promoted as it guarantees dignity for workers.
Mr Chishimba said ZFE and its members remain committed to ensuring that decent jobs are created for Zambians.
He commended Government for its efforts in creating a conducive environment for doing business.
This year’s Labour Day was celebrated under the theme ‘Securing decent work for sustainable socio-economic development’.