THE recent launch of the construction of Mwomboshi dam in Chisamba by President Edgar Lungu should be accompanied by a comprehensive strategy to diversify the economy, says JCTR media information officer Tendai Posiana.
Ms Posiana said there was need for the Zambian Government with other stakeholders to initiate and undertake efforts to promote local value addition to most of the country’s raw materials like in agriculture and mining.
“JCTR welcomes the President’s pronouncements and the efforts that are being done to promote economic diversification and this needs concerted effort to ensure the programme was implemented,” she said. She appealed to the Government to put in place measures such as effecting affordable tax on importation of industrial machinery for local manufacturing to promote value addition.
“The centre also proposes Government works closely with potential Zambian investors to identify potential markets for finished products that are likely to trigger the opening of various industries, which could then manufacture local goods into finished products,” she said.
Ms Posiana said JCTR said the projects had a great potential in broadening employment opportunities for citizens, especially the youth, both in the industry and as a result of its operations in agriculture and mining. She said implementation of diversification of the economy that encompasses value addition to raw materials should be treated as a matter of urgency, to spur growth for the economy through increased industrialization.
“This will enable citizens survive the high cost of living which is negatively affecting them, because most households are struggling due to ever increasing prices of basic items such as Kapenta, tomatoes and charcoal and are having challenges to live a dignified life,” she said.
According to JCTR’s latest cost of living survey, there was the high cost of living in most parts of the country. In Livingstone, the total cost of basic foods such as mealie meal, cooking oil, Kapenta, vegetables, tomatoes and salt during the month of February 2016 rose to K 1, 492.17 from K1, 478.98 in January 2016, in Mansa to K 1, 167.63 from K1, 071.65, in Ndola to K1, 658.73 from K1, 633.31, in Chipata to K1, 161.86 from K1, 159.86 and in Mpika to K 1, 241.56 from K1, 235.35 in January, as measured by the JCTR Basic Needs Basket (BNB).