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Keynote Speech By His Excellency, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President Of The Republic Of Zambia,

ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURAL NATIONAL ECONOMIC SUMMIT

OF THE ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA

AT AVANI VICTORIA FALLS RESORT, LIVINGSTONE

FRIDAY, 26TH JULY 2019

STATE HOUSE

LUSAKA

  • YOUR EXCELLENCY, MR UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA;
  • YOUR EXCELLENCY, MR JAKAYA KIKWETE, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA;
  • THE SECRETARY TO THE CABINET, DR. SIMON MITI;
  • THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, HON. DR. BWALYA K. E. NG’ANDU;
  • THE MINISTER OF COMMERCE, TRADE AND INDUSTRIES, HON. CHRISTOPHER YALUMA;
  • THE HOST – THE PRESIDENT OF THE ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA, DR LUBINDA HAABAZOKA;
  • MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING, HON. ALEXANDER CHITEME;
  • HONOURABLE CABINET MINISTERS PRESENT;
  • PROVINCIAL MINISTERS;
  • SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS;
  • THE BANK OF ZAMBIA GOVERNOR, DR DENNY KALYALYA;
  • THE BOARD OF THE ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA AND ITS SECRETARIAT;
  • YOUR WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LIVINGSTONE MR EUGEN MAPUWO;
  • MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS, AND COOPERATING PARTNERS;
  • MEMBERS OF THE PRESS;
  • DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES;
  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

I AM GREATLY HONOURED TO PARTICIPATE AS ONE OF THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS AT THIS INAUGURAL NATIONAL ECONOMIC SUMMIT WHICH IS A BRAINCHILD OF THE ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA.

I WISH TO EXTEND MY SINCERE GRATITUDE TO MY DEAR BROTHER HIS EXCELLENCY MR UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA FOR SPARING TIME TO ATTEND THIS SUMMIT.

YOUR EXCELLENCY, YOUR PRESENCE HERE IS A CLEAR DEMONSTRATION OF YOUR COMMITMENT TO BUILDING, AND SUSTAINING OUR BILATERAL COOPERATION, AND YOUR CRITICAL ROLE IN ADVANCING ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY IN AFRICA.

KENYA AND ZAMBIA HAVE HAD A LONG HISTORY OF BILATERAL COOPERATION, AND THIS SUMMIT WILL ENHANCE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.

LET ME ALSO EXPRESS MY PROFOUND GRATITUDE TO HIS EXCELLENCY, MR JAKAYA KIKWETE, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS SUMMIT. YOUR EXCELLENCY, YOUR PRESENCE AT THIS SUMMIT IS INVALUABLE.

ZAMBIA AND TANZANIA HAVE A LONGSTANDING HISTORY ANCHORED ON COMMON INTERESTS AT BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL LEVELS.

ALLOW ME ALSO TO COMMEND THE ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA (EAZ) FOR HOSTING THIS AUSPICIOUS INAUGURAL ECONOMIC SUMMIT.

THE THEME: “THE FUTURE OF ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY: SUPPORTING INCLUSIVE GROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA” IS VERY RELEVANT AS IT RESONATES WELL WITH THE ASPIRATIONS OF MY GOVERNMENT, AND THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE.

MY GOVERNMENT IS DESIROUS TO SEE AN INCLUSIVE GROWTH, AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WHICH PERMEATES GENDER, SOCIAL ECONOMIC STATUS, ETHNICITY, RACE, AND RELIGIOUS ORIENTATION.

THIS THEME IS ALSO IN LINE WITH THE AFRICAN UNION’S AGENDA 2063, AND THE UNITED NATIONS AGENDA 2030.

WE ARE COMMITTED TO DOMESTICATING, AND PUTTING INTO PRACTICE THE PREAMBLE OF THE AGENDA 2063 WHICH READS, AND I QUOTE:

“WE ARE RESOLVED TO FREE THE HUMAN RACE FROM THE TYRANNY OF POVERTY AND WANT TO HEAL AND SECURE OUR PLANET. WE ARE DETERMINED TO TAKE THE BOLD AND TRANSFORMATIVE STEPS WHICH ARE URGENTLY NEEDED TO SHIFT THE WORLD ONTO A SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT PATH. AS WE EMBARK ON THIS COLLECTIVE JOURNEY, WE PLEDGE THAT NO ONE WILL BE LEFT BEHIND,” END OF QUOTE.

THEREFORE, THIS SUMMIT OFFERS US AN OPPORTUNITY FOR POSITIVE DIALOGUE ON ISSUES PERTAINING TO THE ZAMBIAN ECONOMY IN PARTICULAR, AND THE AFRICAN CONTINENT AT LARGE.

IN OUR QUEST TO REALISE OUR ASPIRATIONS, WE ARE CONFRONTED WITH VARIOUS OBSTACLES, AND CHALLENGES.

HOWEVER, THE OBSTACLES, AND CHALLENGES IN OUR WAY ARE NOT INSURMOUNTABLE.

FOR THIS REASON, I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES, POLICIES, STRATEGIES, TOOLS, AND PROGRAMMES SUCH AS ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY, INCLUSIVE GROWTH, AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SHOULD TAKE CENTRE STAGE AS WE STRIVE FOR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY FOR THE AFRICAN CONTINENT.

YOUR EXCELLENCIES;

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

AT THIS POINT, ALLOW ME TO HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE ECONOMIC INITIATIVES MY GOVERNMENT HAS EMBARKED ON IN PURSUIT OF INCLUSIVE GROWTH, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AND ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY.

1.0 KEY ECONOMIC SECTORS

1.1 ENERGY SECTOR

THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE INDICATE THAT ENERGY PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN ALL SECTORS OF ANY ECONOMY.

ZAMBIA IS ENDOWED WITH A WIDE RANGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES SUCH AS FORESTS, WATER, AND MINERALS SUCH AS COAL, AND RENEWABLE SOURCES OF ENERGY SUCH AS, WIND, SOLAR ENERGY AND HYDROPOWER WHICH HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE ABOUT 6,000 MEGAWATTS (MW) OF ELECTRICITY, ONCE FULLY DEVELOPED.

MY GOVERNMENT HAS PUT IN PLACE MEASURES TO GROW, AND DIVERSIFY THE ENERGY SECTOR TO ENHANCE ITS CONTRIBUTION TO NATIONAL ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION.

THE GOAL IS TO ENSURE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO CLEAN, SAFE, RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE ENERGY AT THE LOWEST COST, CONSISTENT WITH NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASPIRATIONS.

I AM PLEASED TO NOTE THAT THE ZAMBIA ELECTRICITY SUPPLY CORPORATION (ZESCO)’S KAFUE GORGE REGIONAL TRAINING CENTRE HAS BEEN SELECTED AS ONE OF THE EIGHT CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE IN AFRICA, TO OFFER TRAINING OF STAFF FROM ALL OVER AFRICA.

THE ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE SUPPORTING THE TRAINING CENTRE FOR IT TO PROVIDE THE NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS AIMED AT IMPROVING AFRICA’S MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRICITY UTILITIES.

MY GOVERNMENT REMAINS RESOLUTE TO ADDRESSING THE ELECTRICITY CHALLENGES WE FACE AS A COUNTRY, AND AFRICA AS A WHOLE.

I AM AWARE THAT MANY OF OUR PEOPLE IN ZAMBIA, AND AFRICA IN GENERAL, NEED TO HAVE ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY TO IMPROVE THEIR SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES, GROW THEIR ENTERPRISES, AND CONTRIBUTE TO INDUSTRIAL GROWTH.

AS A GOVERNMENT, WE ARE WORKING TIRELESSLY THROUGH THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION AUTHORITY (REA) INCREASE ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY FROM 3 PERCENT TO 51 PERCENT BY 2030 THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FOLLOWING PROJECTS:

  1. GRID EXTENSION PROJECTS IN ALL OUR 10 PROVINCES;
  2. SOLAR PROJECTS – 423 STAND-ALONE SOLAR HOME SYSTEM PROJECTS AT VARIOUS PUBLIC, AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS;
  3. MINI-HYDRO POWER STATIONS IN VARIOUS DISTRICTS; AND
  4. WIND ENERGY PROJECTS IN LUNGA DISTRICT OF LUAPULA PROVINCE.

ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE, ZAMBIA WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRATED AFRICAN ELECTRICITY SECTOR. THIS IS TO FACILITATE THE LONG-TERM ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AFRICAN ELECTRICITY MARKET WHICH PROVIDES ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE AND RELIABLE ELECTRICITY TO THE PEOPLE OF AFRICA.

AS A COUNTRY, WE ARE HEAVILY INVESTING IN POWER GENERATION PLANTS – HYDRO-ELECTRIC PLANTS, SOLAR ENERGY, NUCLEAR, WIND AND MANY OTHER FORMS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY, NOT ONLY FOR DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION, BUT ALSO FOR EXPORT INTO THE REGION, AND AFRICA AS A WHOLE.

THIS IS PART OF THE STRATEGY TO PROMOTE THE AFRICAN REGIONAL POWER POOLS, AND INTERCONNECTIONS OF GRIDS BETWEEN COUNTRIES. THIS IS TO FACILITATE POWER TRADING, AND PROMOTION OF RENEWABLE ENERGIES.

HENCE, MY GOVERNMENT IS ACTIVELY SUPPORTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FULL-FLEDGED REGIONAL ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION THROUGH THE FOLLOWING PROJECTS:

  1. ZIMBABWE-ZAMBIA-BOTSWANA-NAMIBIA(ZIZABONA 330KV);
  2. ZAMBIA-TANZANIA-KENYA (400 KV);
  3. MOZAMBIQUE-MALAWI (400 KV); AND
  4. MOZAMBIQUE-ZIMBABWE-SOUTH AFRICA (MOZISA 400KV);

 

YOUR EXCELLENCIES;

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

1.2 INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

WE ARE ALL AWARE THAT INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IS A VITAL COMPONENT IN ENCOURAGING A COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC GROWTH BY ENHANCING EFFICIENCY IN PRODUCTION, TRANSPORTATION, AND COMMUNICATION.

THIS IS WHY MY GOVERNMENT IS INVESTING MASSIVELY IN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT TO SPUR ACCELERATED SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH.

THIS IS BEING IMPLEMENTED THROUGH THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW, AND EXPANSION OF EXISITING AIRPORTS; RAIL; AND ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE, SO THAT ZAMBIA IS LAND LINKED TO THE SOUTHERN AFRICA DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC), AND THE COMMON MARKET FOR EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA (COMESA), AND AFRICA AS A WHOLE.

1.3 SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

TURNING TO SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE, MY GOVERNMENT HAS EMBARKED ON AN AMBITIOUS PROGRAMME TO ESTABLISH, AND UPGRADE HOSPITALS, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS, TERTIARY LEARNING INSTITUTIONS SUCH UNIVERSITIES, COLLEGES, AND SKILLS TRAINING CENTRES.   THIS IS TO ENSURE OUR PEOPLE ARE PROVIDED WITH ACCESS TO QUALITY MEDICAL CARE, EDUCATION, AND SKILLS TRAINING FOR THEM TO CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WITHIN ZAMBIA, AND THE AFRICAN CONTINENT.

 

YOUR EXCELLENCIES;

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

 

1.4  E-GOVERNMENT

IN TERMS OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES (ICT) INFRASTRUCTURE, AND IN LINE WITH OUR VISION OF ESTABLISHING A SMART ZAMBIA, MY GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED THE ZAMBIA NATIONAL DATA CENTRE IN 2015.

IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT THE ZAMBIA NATIONAL DATA CENTRE IS A LIMITED COMPANY UNDER THE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (IDC) AND IS ZAMBIA’S ONLY DEDICATED DATA CENTRE COMPANY OFFERING VARIOUS ICT-RELATED SERVICES.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS COMPANY WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE REDUCTION OF ICT-RELATED SERVICES.

I THEREFORE URGE THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TO MAKE USE OF THE ZAMBIA NATIONAL DATA CENTRE.

FURTHER, MY GOVERNMENT HAS ESTABLISHED      THE SMART ZAMBIA INSTITUTE MANDATED TO COORDINATE, AND IMPLEMENT ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT (E-GOVERNMENT) FOR THE CITIZENS, BUSINESSES, AND THE PUBLIC SECTOR FOR IMPROVED SERVICE DELIVERY.

IT IS AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND THAT MY GOVERNMENT, THROUGH SMART ZAMBIA, IS PROVIDING THE FOLLOWING SERVICES THAT CREATE AN ENABLING BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT:

 

(1) GOVERNMENT TO CITIZENS (G2C) ONLINE SERVICES THAT INCLUDE: ePAMODZI; ePAYSLIP; THE ZAMBIA INTEGRATED AGRICULTURE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (ZIAMIS); ZAMBIA INTEGRATED LAND MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (ZILMIS); AND SMART CARE;

(2) GOVERNMENT TO BUSINESS (G2B) ONLINE SERVICES SUCH AS TAX ONLINE; ASYCUDA; e-PACRA; e-PROCUREMENT; AND e-VISA; AND

(3) GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNMENT (G2G), THE FOLLOWING ONLINE SERVICES ARE IN PLACE: e-CABINET; INTERGRATED FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (IFMIS), AND TREASURY SINGLE ACCOUNT (TSA);  PAYROLL MANAGEMENT AND ESTABLISHMENT CONTROL (PMEC); SHARED SERVICES; AND GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA (GRZ) MINING CADASTRAL PORTAL.

2.0 REVISION OF KEY ECONOMIC POLICIES

MY GOVERNMENT HAS REVISED SEVERAL POLICIES TO MAKE THEM BUSINESS FRIENDLY.

IN THIS REGARD, THE MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, TRADE AND INDUSTRY HAS FORMULATED THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIALISATION POLICY, THE TRADE POLICY, THE STRATEGY ON LOCAL CONTENT UTILISATION, AND THE BUY ZAMBIAN CAMPAIGN.

THE MINISTRY IS ALSO IN THE PROCESS OF REVISING THE MACRO, SMALL, AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (MSMES) POLICY TO MAKE IT RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THIS SECTOR.

 

3.0 PROVINCIAL EXPOS

MY GOVERNMENT HAS EMBARKED ON HOSTING PROVINCIAL EXPOS TO SHOWCASE THE INVESTMENT POTENTIAL IN OUR TEN PROVINCES. THESE PROVINCIAL EXPOS ARE AIMED AT ATTRACTING APPROPRIATE INVESTMENT IN RESPECTIVE SECTORS IN EACH PROVINCE.

ZAMBIA HAS VAST INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN MINING, MANUFACTURING, AGRICULTURE, TOURISM, ENERGY, HEALTH AND EDUCATION SECTORS.

I NOTE WITH PLEASURE THAT THIS NATIONAL ECONOMIC SUMMIT HAS ATTRACTED RENOWNED THOUGHT-LEADERS FROM ACADEMIA, PUBLIC SECTOR, AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR FROM WITHIN, AND OUTSIDE ZAMBIA.

THEREFORE, LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXTEND AN INVITATION TO YOU TO COME, AND INVEST IN OUR COUNTRY.  THE TIME FOR YOU TO MAKE THAT DECISION IS NOW, AND NOT LATER AS INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES ARE DIMINISHING AS MORE, AND MORE INVESTORS COME INTO THE COUNTRY.

 

4.0 CONCLUSION

YOUR EXCELLENCIES;

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

AS I CONCLUDE, I WISH TO URGE ALL PARTICIPANTS AT THIS SUMMIT TO UTILISE YOUR TIME TO INTERROGATE AREAS OF CRITICAL PUBLIC CONCERN, AND IF NEEDS BE RECOMMEND TO MY GOVERNMENT SUITABLE COURSES OF ACTION.

 

 

THE SUCCESS OF MY GOVERNMENT AND THE REGION IN ATTAINING THE UN AGENDA 2030 AND THE AU AGENDA 2063 DEPENDS SIGNIFICANTLY ON THE APPLICATION OF EXPERT ADVICE FROM YOUR INSTITUTIONS.

MY GOVERNMENT IS AMENABLE TO EXPERT ADVICE THAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF US ATTAINING INCLUSIVE GROWTH, AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR THE GOOD OF OUR PEOPLE.

LET ME DIRECT THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE TO WORK CLOSELY WITH THE ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA (EAZ) TO FIND WAYS OF ENSURING THAT ALL ECONOMISTS IN ZAMBIA ARE REGISTERED WITH THE ASSOCIATION SO AS TO BRING ORDER IN THE FIELD.

I WISH TO THANK THE ASSOCIATION’S BOARD FOR HOSTING A SUMMIT OF THIS MAGNITUDE. FURTHER, I WISH TO ASSURE EAZ THAT MY GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE PARTICIPATING IN THE ANNUAL NATIONAL ECONOMIC SUMMIT.

I NOW END BY ENCOURAGING OUR VISITORS TO ENSURE THAT THEY SAMPLE VARIOUS TOURISM ATTRACTIONS INCLUDING THE MUST SEE MIGHTY VICTORIA FALLS.

MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL,

MAY GOD BLESS ZAMBIA, AND THE ENTIRE AFRICAN CONTINENT,

I THANK YOU.