COMMERCE Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has called for the need to have a strong technology-based, diversified and export focused manufacturing sector which is self-sustaining as part of the country’s development strategy.
Speaking at the Eastern Province symposium on development in Chipata district yesterday, Ms Mwanakatwe said the country should also be dynamic, resilient to external shocks and competitive with effective entities that add value to locally abundant natural resources.
She said Government would facilitate the up scaling of manufacturing sector towards higher value addition and upgrade capacity in the provision of related services.
Ms Mwanakatwe noted that Government has placed emphasis on transforming industrial businesses and complementary services into strong value creating entities.
And Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya said that agriculture there was need to address threats that affects the agriculture sector for improved agriculture industry.
Ms Siliya noted that agriculture was one of the key sectors that contribute to the country’s job creation.
She said that Government was putting in place stringent measures to ensure that challenges faced during the distribution of inputs in the 2016/17 farming season were addressed.
Meanwhile, Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu explained that the aim of the symposium was to bring stakeholders together and identify bottlenecks that affect the development agenda for the province.
Mr Zulu notes that being an agro based and the largest producer of commodities such as maize, groundnuts and cotton, the province was still importing most of its finished products such as mealie meal and peanut butter.
She states that Government was keen to promote and localize improved value chains in agro processing and its infrastructure development through the creation of an enabling environment for private enterprise to thrive and promote sustainable public private partnerships.
And Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province said traditional leaders in the province have committed themselves to do away with negative traditional norm and practices that hinder the development process.
Speaking through chief Madzimaweof the Ngoni people of Chipata district, Paramount chief Mpezeni says that chiefs are happy that government recognizes traditional leaders as partners in national development saying there is need for government to embrace and co-opt all levels of leadership for sustainable development.