THE Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) has expressed gratitude with the content of President Edgar Lungu’s address to the National Assembly.
CSPR Advocacy and Communication Programme Coordinator Maxson Nkhoma said in a statement yesterday that the Presidential speech was not only encouraging to most Zambians but it was also inspiring to the majority Zambians as it hinged on a number of progressive and well-articulated Government’s short – long term pro-poor policies aimed at realizing real economic diversification from one based on mining to one which is broadly based on agriculture, livestock , fisheries and tourism .
Mr Nkhoma said CSPR was happy that the President was categorical on his Government’s decision to make the agriculture sector a number priority among all other sectors in an effort to diversify the economy and facilitate for robust economic growth, wealth creation through value addition, processing and packing.
“ CSPR is glad to note that the President, shares the concerns affecting the small scale farmer’s in as far as farming mechanization is concerned. This inspires confidence and hope amongst small scale farmers that government will create enabling environment that will enable small scale farmers able to own farming equipments which will enable them enhance production,”he said.
Mr Nkhoma said the proposed creation of the agriculultural- related industries would support Government’s intention for job creation through value addition, processing and packing.
He said CSPR welcomes the proposed introduction of the cooperative bill to be brought before Parliament as it would help enhance the performance of the cooperative movement in Zambia while harnessing its potential to contribute positively to sustainable national development On Macro-Economic Front.
He said CSPR was optimistic that with the proposed broad based macro-economic policies such as the reduction of inflation rate to single digit and reduction of public debt , Zambia would a remain a predictable and best investment destination for both foreign and local investors.
“We note that inflation has already started reducing from over 22 percent in December 2015 to around 18 percent in September 2016.
Further it is our hope that creation of the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) will help the country enhance its capacities in commerce, trade and industry and enable Zambian products fair competitively on the international market while creating jobs for local people,”he said.
He called upon every Zambian to embrace President Lungu’s call for innovation if the country was to develop In the age of digital technologies and economic globalization.
He said CSPR was looking forward to the Presentation of the national budget which was clearly linked to the Presidential address to national assembly the Medium Term Expenditure Framework(MTEF) and the Seventh National Development Plan(SNDP)