ZAMBIA is undoubtedly endowed with immense natural resources.
Given the endowment, it is shocking that most Zambians continue to live in abject poverty.
This is a damnation to the country because we the citizens are evidently not applying ourselves enough to translate the potential we have into wealth for the benefit of everyone.
Zambia has been independent for 53 years politically but economically it is still struggling and this is unacceptable.
Time has now come for the country to start working its way out of poverty and steer towards prosperity.
Transformation of these fortunes has to be done at all levels of the strata of our society to rise above socio-economic challenges.
During his inauguration on September 13, 2016 at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, President Edgar Lungu said Zambia must as a country now re-define the word ‘investor’ to mean Zambians themselves.
President Lungu vowed to lead a green revolution that must culminate in sustainable national food security from individual actions of each one of us.
To this effect, he directed that it is a pre-requisite for anyone starting from the rank of director in Government ministries and departments to engage in at least one agro-based activity.
This can be a smallholder for fish-farming, poultry, vegetable or any food production venture.
President Lungu promised to lead from the front starting with his staff at State House and we have seen this bearing fruit.
Several State House staffers such as press aide Amos Chanda and a host of others have already started implementing the presidential directive.
However, this directive is not directed at public service workers only; it includes every citizen and those from the private sector.
There must be a myriad of economic activities countrywide such as carpentry, welding and other ventures that will lead to job creation and poverty reduction.
Research institutions, the church, civil society and corporates should take the lead in building capacity of ordinary citizens so that they can effectively participate in the economic affairs of the country.
Financial institutions should also play their part by relaxing loan conditions to enable as many citizens as possible, especially school-leavers, college and university graduates to actualise their potential.
We agree with Vice-President Inonge Wina, who on Thursday challenged Government agencies and the private sector to stop talking about the country’s natural resource potential and begin to bring utilisation of resources into reality
Mrs Wina was right when she said Government alone cannot drive the diversification agenda within the mining sector as well as other sectors.
Diversification of the economy lies on the shoulders of us citizen by utilising our collective talents and expertise.
We should endeavour to pull every citizen along in our aspiration to actualise our potential.