100,000 jobs on cards

GOVERNMENT has projected to create 100,000 jobs through its efforts to diversify the economy towards agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and energy sectors over the 2016-2018 medium-term expenditure frameworks.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said in Kitwe on Saturday that the growth of the manufacturing sector remains critical to Government’s efforts to diversify the economy.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said Government will address all challenges hindering the growth of the manufacturing sector and expand the value chain cluster development programme which is designed to promote value-addition to local raw materials and to create at least 100,000 macro, small and medium enterprise jobs.
The jobs are expected to impact 600,000 people in rural areas.
“Government will continue investing in interventions aimed at addressing the challenges faced by MSMEs such as access to finance, access to markets and technology and the impartation of entrepreneurial skills.
“These interventions are expected to spur enterprise growth and contribute to job creation. Key interventions include the value chain cluster development programme which is designed to promote value addition to local raw materials including agriculture, aquaculture and forest products,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.
She also said Government will continue to secure markets for Zambian products, particularly for non-traditional exports in the region and beyond.
Government will continue to step up efforts to market the country as a favourable investment destination.
The marketing aspect will be done through investment promotion programmes targeted at projects that support value-addition and key priority sectors of agriculture, infrastructure, tourism and manufacturing.
“We will also follow up and facilitate the actualisation of foreign direct investment pledges, thereby contribute to the growth of the industry and creation of jobs in the Zambian economy,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.
The global economic environment is currently undergoing a slowdown and the situation is having a negative impact on emerging and developing countries like Zambia.
“On our part as a developing country, we know what we must do to remain on course for growth. President Lungu, in his address to Parliament, went to significant lengths to highlight the kind of economic transformation we must attain in the short to long term that will result in reduced poverty, sustained economic growth as well as job and wealth creation,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.
She also said Government is allocating resources to developing and rehabilitating key infrastructure such as access roads to tourist sites, airports and cultural centres to increase both domestic and international tourists traffic.

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