Lusaka, 8th November, 2012
A High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD), jointly organised by the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and the Cooperating Partners Group (CPG), concluded with a call for appropiate policies and their effective implementation to diversify agriculture and create jobs; to increase Zambia’s competitiveness in the regional and global economy; and to diversify development finance and move beyond aid.
“Zambia’s economic growth prospects look reasonably promising. All the economic fundamentals are looking up, but regrettably poverty remains high at 60.5 per cent, whilst rural poverty is even higher at around 80 per cent,” said Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda during the opening session of the HLPD.
He noted that the HLPD mechanism is a platform for the GRZ and the CPG to engage constructively on topical issues that contribute towards inclusive growth and development.
And UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Carlos Lopes said wealth creation and poverty reduction should be dealt with simultaneously because of her immense opportunities for more inclusive sustainable development.
The HLPD, with the theme: “Diversification for the Transformation of the Zambian Economy,” underscored the need of a bold set of policy and institutional reforms, and touched on Public Private Partnership (PPP) for infrastructure and service sector expansion. Higher levels of investments in technology and innovation was seen as necessary to leap from current levels of productivity and pace of development.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Kanni Wignaraja emphasized: “The policies we are proposing must truly make a difference and address that which often halts progress for those who need it most – and this means tackling fundamental issues around inequality, justice and inclusion.”
The HLPD, which was attended by GRZ officials, CPG members and civil society and private sector representatives of Zambia, underlined the importance of collective efforts to address pertinent issues and achieve economic growth and larger development goals.
[Opening Speech by The Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda, MP]
[Closing Statement by The Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba]
[Joint Press Statement on the 2012 HLPD]