Editor's Comment

Play your part

THE country needs the contribution of everyone to grow the economy despite their colour, race or religion, says United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Synod Bishop Sydney Sichilima. This is timely advice.
The bishop who was preaching at a service attended by President Edgar Lungu said the country needs the input of different people, including Chinese, to have an economic breakthrough.
“There shall be a breakthrough if we work together, even the Chinese, we need to work with them,” he said.
The advice by the clergy is indeed timely and should be embraced by all progressive Zambians.
Zambia has a long way to go in its development journey and the earlier it gets everyone on board, the faster the country will arrive at its destination – even considering that development is not a destination, per se.
Though the country has been making progress in areas such as infrastructure development, there is still much more that needs to be done to attain the Vision 2030 objective of becoming a prosperous middle income.
Zambia is still struggling with high poverty levels with over 60 percent of the population living below the poverty datum line.
Unemployment levels are also very high with youths being the most affected at 10.5 percent above the national average of 7.4 percent.
The health sector is still yearning for more infrastructure, equipment as well as medical expertise. This is why to date we still have many Zambians globe-trotting in search of specialised treatment.
For a long time Zambia has over-depended on copper as the source of foreign currency revenue. This is an unreliable source in the face of price volatility on the international market.
This has had its own negative impact on our development journey.
However, Government through the 7th National Development Plan (7NDP) has outlined an extensive road map on how to accelerate the development agenda to address these many challenges.
Through the 7NDP, Government intends to create a diversified and resilient economy for sustained growth and socio-economic transformation driven, among others, by agriculture.
Delivering inclusive and equitable development to citizens is a daunting task which requires the concerted efforts and commitment of all stakeholders, including Government, citizens, private sector, foreign investors and international donors.
It is a fallacy to expect Government to shoulder the responsibility of developing this country singlehandedly. This is because Government is limited in terms of the resources and expertise needed to develop this country.
The skewed thinking that all development is Government’s responsibility must be corrected. Of course, Government is key in this process, but people form Government and it is the people who made decisions and implement these decisions.
Further, indeed Government programmes and projects are key to overall development, but again it is the input of each individual that counts to the collective success.
Through contributions of citizens, private sector and indeed foreign investors, the country enhances its chances to attain its development goals.
No single country, including the most powerful ones, has ever developed without the help of both internal and external stakeholders.
As rightly observed by Bishop Sichilima, Zambia as a country that is in a hurry to develop must embrace and encourage all those who are ready to contribute to its cause regardless of who they are and where they are from.
Zambians should also deal with development as their responsibility rather than think that their contribution is a favour. If it is a favour, this is to themselves because they are the ultimate beneficiaries.

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