Local Government and Housing Minister Stephen Kampyongo says government recognizes that dynamic and growing cities have potential to drive the economic growth of the country.
Mr. Kampyongo said local economies of cities and towns are capable of being at the centre of a vibrant and resilient national economy in which integrated systems of transport, commerce and government interact.
He said for economic development to be sustained and have impact on reducing poverty, the economies of cities must drive economic growth and respond to people’s needs.
Mr. Kampyongo said government has since enacted a number of instruments to strengthen urban planning and development such as Urban and Regional Planning Act Number 3 of 2015, which is responsive to the current planning and development challenges.
He said this in a speech read for him by Local Government and Housing Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga during the launch of the report for “Promoting Job-Rich Urbanisation in Zambia by Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR), International Growth Centre (IGC) and Just Jobs Network.
He observed that the approach to development which has been anchored on the crafting of fiscal and monetary policy which operates at central government level has paid less attention to the role of well-planned cities and good urbanization to sustain economic growth.
And speaking earlier, ZIPAR Acting Executive Director Shebo Nalishebo said urban centres are the engines of economic growth as they drive the buying power and the demand for rural goods by the urban economy.
Mr. Nalishebo said the study that three institutions conducted has outlined the opportunities accorded by urbanisation to sustain growth and diversify Zambia’s economy.