The Bank of Zambia has urged the Zambia Association Manufacturers (ZAM) to use its 30th Annual General Meeting anniversary to reflect on what it has been doing since inception.
Speaking at the 30th anniversary of ZAM, BOZ Deputy Governor for administration Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula said that ZAM should check which areas it has failed to perform and which ones it has succeeded in.
Dr. Mabula said this kind of reflection is crucial to enabling acceleration of progress in the manufacturing sector.
She said that the Bank of Zambia has put in place measures to address the challenges besetting the economy, such as tightening of the monetary policy to counter pressure in the foreign exchange market.
In April 2015, the central bank tightened the statutory rates from 18% from 14%.
Dr. Mabula also said that the Bank of Zambia had raised the policy rate to 15.5% in November 2015, from 12.5% in response to the sharp increase in inflation in October which rose to 14.3% from 7.7% in September.
She further stated that the Bank of Zambia also removed caps on lending rates to remove distortions in the pricing of credit.
Dr Mabula pointed out that the Bank of Zambia will continue to pursue a sustainable monetary policy mix which will ensure stability in the exchange rate, interest rate and prices in the economy.
Dr. Mabula urged the ZAM to take advantage of the opportunities available in the economy to increase production and export more in order to earn foreign exchange and help reduce the economy’s dependence on copper.
And speaking at the same occasion, ZAM President Roseta Chabala said that ZAM has grown from strength to strength as evidence by its full-fledged secretariat which was non-existence many years back.
Mrs Chabala said that ZAM lacked full recognition from government and other cooperating partners, and as such was not considered as a body that could provide meaningful input into the works of donors and other regional and international organisations.
The ZAM chief said that her association in commemorating its 30th AGM anniversary, the body had gained recognition and is now invited by several ministries and public agencies, to provide input into the design, implementation monitoring and evaluation of their policies and other activities.
Mrs Chabala further stated that other Donors, International and regional organisations have also come on board, seeking ZAM’s perspective on several matters relating to the economy in general and the manufacturing industry in particular.
She however said that the manufacturing sector’s contribution has remained static in the last few years standing at about 8%.
Mrs Chabala said that ZAM can clearly do more to push the 8% to 10%, because as an association, it aspires to push its contribution up to 25% as was the case in the 70s and 80s.
She pointed out that ZAM is part of the solution and can deliver beyond expectations if all key parties come on board.