Lungu calls for trickling of economic benefits to ordinary Zambians
Lusaka, 15/14 Jul ZANIS——-Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mkhondo Lungu, has called for concerted efforts to ensure that benefits arising from the country’s strong economic performance trickle down to ordinary Zambians.
Mr Lungu observed that despite the strong economic performance of the Zambian economy, poverty and unemployment have continued to be unreasonably high.
He said the country has been experiencing strong macroeconomic stability with real Gross Domestic Product growth averaging 5.7 per cent since 2001 coupled with single digit inflation and a relatively stable exchange rate.
He said the challenge has been to translate the good economic performance into job creation and poverty reduction.
“Despite these strong economic fundamentals, poverty and unemployment continue to be unacceptably high. “There is, therefore, need for concerted efforts to ensure that the benefits arising from the country’s strong economic performance trickle down to the ordinary Zambians through job creation and poverty reduction among others,” he said.
Mr Lungu also pointed out that Foreign Direct Investment inflows have created few formal sector jobs because of its concentration on the technology sector while the potential in the labour intensive sectors have not been fully exploited.
He said because of the employment gap, government has come up with initiatives meant to accelerate job creation in Agriculture, Tourism, Construction and Manufacturing.
“Regrettably, despite the strong growth of Foreign Direct Investment inflows, it is argued that these have created few formal sector jobs.
“This has largely been attributed to the fact that investment has taken place in technology intensive sectors while the potential in labour intensive sectors has not been fully exploited,” he said
The Deputy Speaker was speaking in Lusaka during a workshop for Members of Parliament on the plan and implementation of the product value chains and physical industrial clusters organised by the Ministry of Commerce.