UN says leaders should be innovative and shape the future
Livingstone, Sept 30/14—-United Nations Resident Co-ordinator, Janet Rogan, says it is imperative for leaders to create space for innovation in order to shape the future.
Ms Rogan was speaking during the official opening of the 58th Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) and the 11th Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders Initiative (AMICAALL) on HIV/AIDS in Africa in Livingstone today.
Ms Rogan said it is gratifying to note that Zambia has made steady progress on several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as the improvement of primary school enrolment which has increased from 80 per cent in 1990 to 93.7 per cent in 2010.
She said it is also impressing to realise that the number of Zambians infected with HIV has dropped to 14.3 percent of the population.
Ms Rogan said the contribution in the fight against HIV at local level has been a key and will continue to be in the future.
She, however, observed that despite these strides poverty levels are still high as over 42 per cent of Zambians are still extremely poor further stating that about 67 per cent of the population has no access to improved sanitation facilities.
Ms Rogan said the role of the UN in Zambia is to support the Zambian government on delivering development projects.
The 58th Local Government Association of Zambia and 11th AMICAALL Annual General Assembly, which closes on October 3, 2014, is under the theme ‘50 years of Local Government, treasuring the past, reflecting on the present and shaping the future’.
Earlier, Southern Province Minister, Daniel Mukonbwe, said strengthening local government structures can greatly boost the country’s economic potential as Zambia is adorned with massive natural resources.
Mr Mukombwe said the advancement of the decentralisation policy is an indication that development is likely to reach even the 29 newly-created districts and bring municipal services closer to the people.
He said the conference is relevant as it will accord the mayors and their councillors drawn from across the country an opportunity to deliberate on issues affecting the local government in Zambia.