Editor's Comment

Speed up economic action to prosper

LUNGU

AS THE inaugural National Economic summit reached its crescendo in Livingstone yesterday, the messages by the keynote speakers were clear and in tandem: time for rhetoric on economic prosperity is over; it is time to put word into deed.
President Edgar Lungu, his Kenya counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta and former President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete were clear in stating that while the region and African continent have great opportunities to prosper, there must be action taken in this direction.
This was underscored by the host, the Economics Association of Zambia, whose president Lubinda Haabazoka stated: “We want to see Zambia develop now and not tomorrow”.
We hope that the momentum of this summit will not fizzle out, but rather gain speed as the quest has been adequately fueled by the many brilliant ideas shared by the various experts as well as the Presidents.
For Zambia, President Lungu has noted that the quest to realise the country’s aspirations is confronted by various challenges, but these obstacles are not insurmountable.
Indeed, the many ideas floated during this summit reflect a country that is on the right path to economic growth.
It is of utmost importance, therefore, that all stakeholders get on board as efforts to develop Zambia gain momentum.
Stakeholders of all persuasions need to be part of these efforts considering that this is being delivered through the various initiatives, policies, strategies, tools, and programmes such as economic diplomacy.
Some of the development initiatives include the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), which will feed into Vision 2030, and is designed to accelerate development without leaving anyone behind.
Inclusive economic development in Zambia comes in form of the robust infrastructure development, which is creating jobs as well as enhancing service delivery as well as creating business opportunities and transforming the lives of citizens.
Zambia has been implementing development plans to promote economic growth for the benefit of the poor.
Currently, 7NDP, which is the country’s blue-print for development for the next five years, up to 2021, envisions a prosperous middle-income economy that offers decent employment opportunities for all Zambians of different skills and background and will be achieved by harnessing opportunities for economic diversification and growth. It is a building block formulated to meet the goals contained in Vision 2030.
Vision 2030 is a long-term plan that expresses the aspirations of the Zambian people to live in a strong and dynamic, middle-income industrial nation that provides opportunities for improving the well-being of all.
At the core of 7NDP and Vision 2030 is poverty alleviation.
Both 7NDP and Vision 2030 intend to deliver people out of poverty permanently.
While Government is pursuing the various development initiatives, it also has to ensure that its relationship with other countries is also sound, hence the quest for economic diplomacy.
That is why President Lungu said the presence of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Kikwete was invaluable.
The presence of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Kikweke was a clear demonstration of their commitment to building and sustaining bilateral cooperation as well as advancing economic diplomacy in Africa.
The inaugural economic summit was, therefore, timely as reflected by its theme: ‘The future of economic diplomacy: supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa’.
The theme is also in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.
The national economic summit will also build into 7NDP, Vision 2030 and culminate into the AU’s Agenda 2063.
We hope that with such a clear vision on what should be done, the expectations now have an even clearer picture on how to actualise these plans.
More importantly, we hope that there will be more action. Plans, or words, will be put into action.



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