Government has unveiled its 2011-2015 Strategic Plan with key emphasis on creation of industrial clusters in districts and multi-facility economic zones in all provinces in the country.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Bob Sichinga, said this will have promoted value addition on various local products.
Mr Sichinga was speaking when he addressed over 280 Choma-based businessmen and women today.
He affirmed the benefits of the clusters and zones, saying they will promote specialisation and quality in local products.
Mr Sichinga added that the clusters would also seek to exploit all available natural resources to empower people at district level with skills and employment.
He said this was key in uplifting the living conditions of people in the districts.
Mr Sichinga explained that the PF government had campaigned on the platform of job creation, lower taxes and more money in people’s pockets of which it was on track in implementing.
He said the government understood the needs of the people of Choma and that is why he would set up offices for Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and PACRA in the district.
Speaking at the same business meeting, CEEC Director General, Likando Mukumbuta, said an excess of KR1 million will be disbursed under the empowerment fund annually with 90 per cent going to rural areas.
Mr Mukumbuta explained that 40 per cent is targeted at youths, 30 per cent at women, 20 per cent for the physically challenged and 10 per cent for the rest, adding that the funds will create about 43,000 industry-related jobs in four years.
The CEEC Director General revealed that the Commission fought to give priority to the marginalised group in order to promote equity and equal distribution of the funds which he said had in the past benefited only men.
Mr Mukumbuta disclosed that the CEEC will be updating the public on successful applications of the funds through quarterly briefings and advertisements to promote transparency and accountability.
He added that disbursement of the CEE funds will begin on February 6, 2013.
The Minister was in company of officials Including PACRA Chief Executive Officer Anthony Bwembya, the Multi-facility Economic Zones Manager, Robert Banda, and ZDA official, Windu Matoka and other government officials.