THE Local Government Association of Zambia has saluted President Edgar Lungu’s efforts aimed at transforming Zambia into an information and knowledge-based society supported by increased access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
LGAZ president Christopher Kang’ombe said his Association totally agrees with President Lungu that e-government and ICT are powerful drivers for economic growth and sustainable development.
Mr Kang’ombe said there was no doubt local government stands to benefit from this programme especially with the digital divide that exists among a number of local authorities due to a number of factors.
He said this in Livingstone yesterday at the ongoing 61th Annual Conference of LGAZ and 14th Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders Initiative for Community Action on HIV and AIDS at Local Level (AMICAALL) held at Chrismar Hotel.
“The use of digital platforms in local government will enhance performance in various functional areas which include the maintenance and management of infrastructure such as township roads, street lights and drainage systems among others.
“We therefore, highly commend Government’s timely decision and action to firstly, launch the Centre of Excellence for E-government and ICT in 2015 and more recently, the appointment of a National Coordinator by His Excellency the President for this purpose. It is our desire that strategies to implement this programme will include local government,” Mr Kang’ombe said.
He said it was increasingly being recognised that a well-resourced local government with a highly motivated local leadership was not only essential for effective decentralization but it was also an effective mechanism to ensure social accountability and the improvement of people’s lives.
“In the spirit of cooperative governance as provided under Article 151 (1) (c) of the Constitution, it is incumbent upon central government to support and enhance the developmental role of local government.
“A well-empowered local government is therefore imperative because we believe that a Local government is an integral and essential part of the solution to meet national social and economic challenges,” he said.
Mr Kangombe also said LGAZ was not only grateful for the K 3, 000 monthly allowance approved for Councillors but was hopeful that sufficient provisions would be made in the 2018 budget to award Councillors even more attractive emoluments and conditions of service.
He said there was need to take into account the amount of both political and civic duties they perform in the wards