Zambia wants to co-exist with the private sector in actualizing the 8th National Development Plan-blueprint-to tap economic growth potential embedded in key growth sectors, agriculture, included as the parameters for the Southern African state to actualize the 17-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the close of the decade.
The 8th NDP-blueprint-planned for 2022-26 and themed: Social Economic Transformation for Improved Livelihoods” focuses reinvigorating Zambia’s economic meltdown and fight poverty through the effective utilization untapped potential in key growth sectors, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors to entice investment.
The growth trajectory identifies four strategic areas for intervention through economic transformation and job creation; human and social development; environmental sustainability; and a good governance environment.
The basis for attaining the objectives, hence needs active participation of the private sector that carry much of the human resource and contributes immensely to economic growth.
Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane, officiating at the United Nations Economic Commission-UNECA organized meeting in Lusaka dubbed: “Accelerating the recovery from the COVID 19 and the full implementation of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels” notes the Government’s recognition of the welfare of the people being central for national development hence the Government’s mainstreaming the SDGs in the 8th NDP, helped by the private sector because of its human and financial capacity.
The successful implementation of the plan and the attainment of the SDGs requires the active participation of all stakeholders including state and non-state actors, noting that development is mainly a function of effective public service delivery by the Government.
The Government is desirous to create an ideal macroeconomic environment, through various facilitations of the private sector and other actors through the Government’s prioritization of the economy.
This is done by dealing with among others, the high and unsustainable debt situation of the country and the large stock of arrears owed to various suppliers of goods and services.
Minister Musokotwane, speaking through permanent secretary Trevor Kaunda notes the redressing of the overall debt portfolio, which is being restructured with assistance by the International Monetary Fund.
There are concerted efforts by the Government to lead a fiscal policy with support from the private sector to enhance growth maximizing on the growth sectors to lure investment.
“The private sector and more especially now, when the country is faced with a constrained fiscal position, is key to actualizing our envisaged economic transformation and creation of jobs for our people” he told delegates at the two-day conference.
The Government is desirous for the private sector partnership that will help shift towards sustainable production and consumption models for a green economy, guaranteeing a way to attain inclusive and sustainable development for all Zambians.
Zambia envisions more than double export earnings to more than US$2 billion during the lifeline of the 8th National Development Plan.
And speaking earlier, Director; UNECA Sub Regional Office for Southern Africa commended African countries in their endeavor to seek to attain the SDGs by the close of the next eight years, is concerned at some of the headwinds including debt that has enveloped Zambia and eating away much of the resources expected to undertake measures for attaining the 8th NDP-key to its success.
Zambia’s public debt has more than doubled to 130% compared to the 60% SADC threshold, implying the resources meant for meeting SDGs were diverted to debt servicing at a time the country and other governments were faced with severe fiscal constraints against robust commodity market performance.
Dr. Kamwendo commended Zambia for its well aligned and mainstreamed 8th NDP and the SDGs intended to achieve the national development plan pave way for attainment of numerous SDGs to redressing among others, climate change, industrialization.
“Mainstreaming the SDGs and incorporating corporate social and environmental responsibility in their business models presents win- win scenarios for countries.”
The two-day meeting seeks to achieve, among other objectives, discuss opportunities and pathways for the private sector (both domestic and international) to support the implementation of Zambia’s 8th NDP and the achievement of the SDGs.
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Listen to the private sector with the view to galvanize support from this critical stakeholder as a driver of trade, industrialization and sustainable development financing in Zambia.
Players seek to share experiences and best practices from other countries in Africa on how to crowd-in private sector in the achievement of national development plans and the SDGs.