Middle income vision possible, says Mwanakatwe


GOVERNMENT is keen on enhancing private sector-led growth and its long term vision of creating a prosperous middle income Zambia by 2030, says Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Margret Mwanakatwe.

Ms Mwanakatwe said this yesterday in Lusaka when she launched the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) 2016-2020 strategic plan that has been budgeted at K357 million for implementation.

She said that the strategic plan addresses the changing business environment domestically and internationally aimed at economic diversification and increasing private sector participation in the economy.

“Government is keen on enhancing private sector-led growth and its long term vision is creating a prosperous middle income Zambia by 2030,” she said. She said that among the priorities to be considered in the ZDA strategic plan was the prioritising of local businesses’ participation in economic development of regional and rural areas through the decentralisation of the agency’s operations.

Ms Mwanakatwe said that the participation of the private sector in the economy was the desire of President Edgar Lungu who wanted to spread economic development to all parts of the country through the provision of attractive investment incentive packages to investors wishing to invest in priority sectors such as mineral processing, tourism, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and energy.

Government was working aggressively to diversify the economy from copper to other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and construction in order to cushion the economy against the effects of international shocks. The minister congratulated the ZDA board, management and the private sector for a well-articulated document that would serve as a blueprint for the agency. ZDA director general Patrick Chisanga said that the strategic plan has been aligned to policies as well as aspirations of Government.

Zambia Private Sector Alliance chairperson Geoffrey Sakulanda said the process of coming up with the strategic plan had taken into consideration the views of various stakeholders on the direction and focus that ZDA should take in the next five years.

Mr Sakulanda said that that it was only when the private sector grew that that there could be employment creation, poverty reduction and economic development.

“The private sector will always endeavour to support efforts of ZDA in promoting private sector growth. It is only when private sector grows can we see employment creation, wealth, poverty reduction and economic development,” he said.

ZDA board chairperson Mary Ncube said the agency was committed to implementing the clearly articulated goals in the strategic plan and that the agency would continue to review the investment climate to meet the needs of investors.

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