Columnists

Politics suffocating economic growth

EVANS Ngoma.

Analysis: EVANS NGOMA
ZAMBIA is endowed with so mu c h potential. From good and favourable climatic conditions to abundant water bodies and diverse yet friendly patriotic people all yearning for what’s good for the country.These surely are some of the attributes that make ours not only the best but best suited to provide all in it a decent lifestyle and opportunities to grow the country into a middle-income nation by 2030. It is only 12 years remaining but a lot can and could happen only if we focus our efforts.
Inevitably, politics and, most importantly, leadership plays a significant role in shaping the country.
Moreover, economics and politics play hand in hand.
Interacting with various key stakeholders ranging from retailers to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), farmers, markeeters and the ordinary man on the street, one strong sentiment is that economically, things are not well.
Money is not easy to come by and hardly all in it are not enjoying or finding opportunities.
A closer analysis of this scenario points to the fact that unfortunately as a country, we are preoccupied and the media space, pub and street talk is mostly centred on politics and which party will win at the detriment of economic focus.
If we look at newspaper headlines, they are about politics. In churches and even at bus terminuses, it’s all about politics. Whilst it is very commendable that as a people, we are interested in choosing our leaders, we believe there is need for a balance and to appreciate that Government is only but among the many key stakeholders that make things work.
There are plenty of untapped opportunities and as BuyZed, we want to create synergies amongst players and in turn create jobs, put more money in people’s pockets and have enough in circulation.
Let us focus on value addition to our mineral resource, establishment of community trusts so that local people can benefit socially from our natural resources through infrastructure development, business linkages and economic empowerment. This we believe is achievable if we properly channel our energies.
In view of the above, if as a country, we take a recess from political news and gossip and instead focus our energies on exposing the untapped tourism and agriculture sites, surely we can grow our economy at breakneck speed.
While at the Luangwa-Zambezi confluence, I met Evaristo Chishimba, who is organising the first-ever expo which is likely to take place from July 19 to July 21 this year in a quest to expose the place to potential developers.
The place is ripe for boat cruising, fishing competitions and many more other water recreational activities.
The place can also be good to house state-of-the-art lodges and hotels. It is about 336km from Lusaka city.
The other exciting thing is that this is a historic place where the Ngonis crossed when they were running away from the Mfecane and at the time they were crossing, a total eclipse happened.
It is also here were Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique share boundaries.
The author is the founder of the BuyZed campaign.

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