ACTING President Guy Scott says the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) will emerge stronger after mourning President Sata and that its government remains committed to providing a conducive policy environment to private sector growth.
Dr Scott appealed to Zambians not to be angry with those in mourning, adding that the PF Government is a listening one and is willing to share ideas on the continued development of the nation.
“It is only 50 days since President Sata died; do not be angry with the man who is mourning his face is ever twisted, just like the Bemba adage goes: ulila tabamucheba kumenso [you do not watch the face of a mourner],” Dr Scott said.
He said despite many challenges being experienced during the transition period, after the elections next month the country will get back to normal and focus on making Zambia the bread basket of southern Africa.
The acting president was speaking on Friday night during the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) gala dinner in Lusaka.
The gala dinner was combined with a discussion on ‘A World of Opportunities: Overcoming International Boundaries’.
Dr Scott said Government is glad to witness the recognition of accomplishments and achievements of various businesses.
He said with the implementation of the private sector development reform programme, the business environment has become more conducive to private sector investment.
“It is only through enhanced trade and a strong private sector that we can develop a strong economy, create the much needed employment, increase revenue and improve social sectors.
“We need you the business community because you are the engine to the growth of the economy,” Dr Scott said.
And speaking during the panel discussion, Ministry of Commerce and Trade permanent secretary Siazonga Siakalenge said the ministry wants to ensure that market opportunities are created for local products locally and internationally.
He said though Zambia is ranked 4th with Zimbabwe in terms of trade in the 15-member SADC region, it is still working hard to add value to the raw materials produced to increase the trade volume.
Africa Development Bank (AfDB) resident representative Freddie Kwesiga said Zambia is on the right path of economic development as a good number of policies are in place.
He said the country only needs to improve on branding and skills development.
Germany ambassador to Zambia Bernd Finke said the country has a lot of potential to grow the economy, especially in the agriculture and energy sectors.
“This country has the best climate and can be a food basket in the region and with vast water bodies and many neighbours, it can also be an electric hub in SADC,” he said.
Zambeef Products PLC founding director Carl Irwin said the country is capable of dominating SADC and COMESA in the agriculture sector by distributing and retailing food.
Zambia Daily Mail