Government has committed itself to implementing recommendations of the national Indaba (dialogue) seeking to find solutions that would ease the effects of the global economic crisis on the Zambian economy.
Vice President, George Kunda told the delegates when he officially closed the Indaba this evening that government would put in place all necessary measures to table the recommendations before cabinet.
Mr. Kunda said this is to ensure that the Indaba recommendations received implementation authority from the highest government level.
“Government has taken note of various recommendations coming out of this Indaba. Government will therefore ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to table these before cabinet to ensure implementation authority is given at the highest level,” he said.
He observed that Zambians in general and in particular delegates to the Indaba, have shown sacrifice, commitment and patriotism by staying for dialogue in the last two days in order to help government find solutions to the global economic crisis.
Mr. Kunda, who is also Minister of Justice, noted that the high turn out for the Indaba was testimony that Zambians wanted immediate solutions to the global financial problems, which have also affected Zambia.
“With your support, government will overcome these challenges,” he said.
He has since called on all local and foreign stakeholders to work together with government to implement the recommendations and realize the desired solutions to the economic challenges facing the country and the world.
The Vice President also paid profound tribute to both local and foreign experts and ordinary delegates for their sacrifice and contributions to the Indaba.
And Professor Oliver Saasa said in winding up rapporteurs, that there was need for government to show political will through supporting the recommendations that came out of the two day Indaba, which was held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
Professor Saasa said government should develop a clear plan of implementing the recommendations.
He said there should also be clear and effective monitoring of the implementation of the recommendations, which should be done in a transparent manner.
He however cautioned that as government implements the recommendations, it should be weary of not disturbing the needs of sensitive sectors such as education and health.
Professor Saasa recommended that a task force that would deal with all matters arising from the global economic crisis should be set up, adding that a sustainable investment in human resource should also be encouraged.
And during presentations of the recommendation by specific Indaba groups, the mining group assured the nation that the Zambian mining industry would survive the crisis.
The group has however recommended that a taskforce be set up immediately to evaluate and review the entire mining industry in response to the global crisis.
Group Rapporteur, Sixtus Mulenga, said the Mining Sector in Zambia was still resilient and would therefore not be suffocated by the current global economic crisis.
Presenting recommendations of the group, Dr. Mulenga said the current cost of copper, which is US$ 4,000 per tonne was not very bad to necessitate the dying of the Zambian mining industry.
He said the Zambian mining industry has survived many economic recessions in the past, adding that it would in the same way survive the current global financial crisis.
The group recommended that in the short, there should be a review of the mines and minerals development act and considers restoration and review of the development agreement.
Other short term measures to survive the global economic crisis are the need to develop a policy of encouraging local entrepreneurship in the mining industry and fully implement the Zambia Development Agency Act and the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).
Dr. Mulenga disclosed that as a medium term measure, the group recommended a reduction of the cost of doing business through e-commerce and single window clearance and provide incentives to domestic suppliers instead of taxing export oriented copper houses.
On the long term basis, the group recommended that there should be a policy stability guarantee, which has however worked well in Zambia in the past.
He said because of good government policies, the country has received about US$ 4 billion as direct foreign investment in the last decade.
He also stressed the need to maximally exploit also mineral potentials which the country has.
Dr. Mulenga said although the mining sector seems to be adversely affected by the economic crisis, chances of regaining its normal operations in the near future were very high.
Meanwhile, the group on energy recommended that Zambia must actualize her full potential in hydro power generation and that a master plan in the sector should be developed in order to foster development in the country.
Among many other groups that made recommendations were the tourism, finance and business.
The indaba, which comprised people from all walks of life and professions, was officially opened yesterday by President Rupiah Banda.