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There is urgent need for the country to embrace economic reforms – DFID

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE UNITED Kingdom government’s Department for International Development (DFID) chief economist Stefan Dercon has advised Government to adapt a more inclusive type of economic growth that seeks to promote sustainable development.
Professor Dercon said supporting initiatives that tackle inclusive growth will help Government promote better policies, create opportunities, decent jobs and secure livelihoods.
Prof Dercon said this last week during a talk show co-hosted by University of Zambia (UNZA)’s economics department and the Economics Association of Zambia under the theme Zambia’s development challenges and opportunities.
He said there is urgent need for the country to embrace economic reforms and diversification to help create growth that is critical in accelerating poverty reduction.
“It is critical that the depreciation of the Kwacha and the likely fiscal consolidation are used with sensible and Government’s support to diversify the economy and reduce poverty,” Prof Dercon said.
Meanwhile, the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) expects Government to allocate adequate resources towards productive sectors to survive from the sluggish global economy in the 2017 national budget.
“CSPR expects Government to walk the talk on economic diversification in the 2017 national budget by way of allocating adequate resources towards agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sectors if the country is to survive from the sluggish global economic growth which has affected bigger economies including Zambia currently estimated to be around 3.1percent in 2016 compared to 3.4 in 2014.
“It is anticipated that the 2017 national budget will seek to respond and address the current budgetary constraints and fiscal deficit caused by shocks from the falling copper prices on the international market and power deficit which, consequently, caused the volatility of the Kwacha between 2015/16,” the organisation notes.


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