By Hon Davies Mwila
This is the first in a series of articles highlighting the performance of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government based on the 7NDP and its core components.
7NDP is underpinned by five strategic pillars namely:
- Economic Diversification and Job Creation
- Poverty and Vulnerability Reduction
- Enhancing Human Development
- Environment For A Diversified And Inclusive Economy
- Reducing Developmental Inequalities
This particular article discusses the PF fortification of the first pillar. Subsequent articles shall highlight the performance of the PF Government under the ensuing strategic areas in chronological order.
However, because column space is likely to be constrained by the overwhelming exploits of the PF Government in its execution of 7NDP, we may at times be compelled to stagger the achievements gained under a strategic pillar over multiple articles.
As we begin, it is important to go through a brief review of where the PF is coming from in order to appreciate our passion for the development of our nation.
The PF came into office in 2011 under the capable leadership of its founding father and 5th Republican President, the late Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata (MHSRIP).
In the aftermath of the unfortunate and untimely passing President Michael Chilufya Sata; the “baton of responsibility” to lead the PF as well as the reins to continue steering the nation towards actualizing Vision 2030 were given to His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, by the Zambians.
During both epochs – under the late President Mr. Michael Sata (MHSRIP) and currently under His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu – the national development agenda of the Patriotic Front (PF) has always been guided by three (03) strategic documents, namely:
- 1. The Patriotic Front Manifesto(s);
- The National Development Plans (NDPs)
- The Vision 2030.
For the PF, the aforementioned three documents are not mutually exclusive, that is; the effective implementation of one does not preclude the effective implementation of the other(s). For this reason, the PF continues to measure its “promises and intentions” (the Manifesto), against the “building block or stairway” (the 7NDP) to attaining the Vision 2030 goals.
THE PF MANIFESTO
The Patriotic Front (PF) Party Manifesto is centered on the people, the ordinary Zambians; and it stresses ways in which the PF intends to uplift the wellbeing of all Zambians.
For the PF, improving the lives of Zambians means, among other things, a Zambia that is: free from hunger and poverty; has a low disease burden and low mortality rate; a nation that is peaceful, tolerant, resilient and cohesive; without slums (shantytowns); a thriving democracy, and a culturally diverse, friendly people who are well-integrated into the African and international community.
This is the Zambia we all want. This is the Vision 2030 where Zambia becomes a “prosperous middle-income country by 2030” and it is the Zambia the PF intends to bequeath to Zambians by the year 2030. The effective implementation of the PF Manifesto is a indeed a robust stairway to Zambia becoming a “prosperous middle-income country by 2030”.
The Vision 2030 is a long-term plan that expresses the aspirations of the Zambian people to live in a strong and dynamic, middle income industrial nation that provides opportunities for improving the wellbeing of all. It embodies values of socio-economic justice underpinned by the principles of: Gender-responsive, sustainable development; Democracy; Respect for human rights; Good traditional and family values; Positive attitude towards work; Peaceful co-existence; and Public-private partnerships (PPPs). A Zambia with stable social and cultural systems that support human capital formation. (The 7th National Development Plan, page 48).
THE SEVENTH NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (7NDP)
The Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) for the period 2017-2021 is asequel to the Revised Sixth National Development Plan, 2013-2016 (R-SNDP) following the latter’s expiry in December 2016.
7NDP, like the three national development plans (NDPs) that preceded it, is aimed at attaining the long-term objectives of Vision 2030.
It builds on the achievements and lessons learnt during the implementation of the previous NDPs. As a result, 7NDP departs from sectoral-based planning to an integrated (multi-sectoral) development approach under the theme “Accelerating development efforts towards the Vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind”.
The7NDP is thus a building block formulated to meet the goals contained in the Vision 2030.
HOW ARE WE DOING SO FAR? (THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE PF GOVERNMENT IN 7 YEARS2011 – 2018)
As the Patriotic Front (PF) Government continues to work towards actualizing the Vision 2030 goals; it is imperative that its performance over seven (07) years [2011-2018] should be assessed against the “stairway or building block” to the Vision 2030 goal. It cannot be overemphasized that the stairway or chief corner stone to Vision 2030 is the 7NDP.
As highlighted in the introduction, the 7NDP for the period 2017- 2021and its attendant development outcomes are underpinned by five (05) strategic pillars: Economic Diversification and Job Creation; Poverty And Vulnerability Reduction; Enhancing Human Development; Environment for A Diversified And Inclusive Economy; Reducing Developmental Inequalities.
ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION AND JOB CREATION
The first development outcome based on this strategic pillar is:
A Diversified and Export-Oriented Agriculture Sector leveraged on Improving Production and Productivity from Farm to Agro-Processing and Manufacturing
The PF Government is delivering “a diversified and export-oriented agriculture sector” as espoused in the 7NDP.
As a result, the Production and Productivity of multiple crops has significantly improved through intensified agricultural mechanization as well as increased land area under cultivation. The number of farmers participating in production has also increased significantly. (Central Statistics Office, Zambia in Figures 2018, page 16).
Further to that, various programmes aimed at significantly improving production and productivity from farm to agro-processing and manufacturing at sector and enterprise level are being implemented. These include the following:
The Farm Power and Mechanisation Enhancement Programme
Under this programme, the PF Government is currently establishing a US$ 100 million tractor assembly plant in the Lusaka South Multi Facility Zone with the aim of helping farmers to access cheaper equipment in order to improve mechanization for all farmers countrywide.
The Irrigation Development Programme
The PF Government is currently implementing the irrigation development programme through the Irrigation Development and Support Project (IDSP).
The objective is to inter-alia increase yields per hectare as well as the value of diverse products marketed by smallholders benefitting from investments in irrigation in selected sites served by the project.
There are four components to this project including: (a) irrigated agricultural support services; (b) public infrastructure; (c) private and cooperate investment, and (d) management and coordination [cited from: www.agriculture.gov.zm].
The PF Government is also delivering several large-scale irrigation development and support services countrywide. Prime examples include the following:
The Mwomboshi Dam ProjectinChisamba; A US Dollar 28.3 million Project funded by the World Bank. The Project will have the capacity to hold up to 65 million cubic litres of water, making it Zambia’s largest irrigation dam.
The Kafulafuta Dam Project on the Copperbelt; A US Dollar 450 million project. The dam project is being funded through a loan secured from Exim Bank of China; one of the outcomes will be the provision of clean and safe water in Masaiti, Mpongwe, and Ndola and Luanshya districts.
In the next article, we shall continue highlighting the achievements of the PF Government through the lenses of the 7NDP. We will in this regard discuss some of the numerous success stories such as the Aquaculture Development Programme and others including Research and Development Promotion Programme (crops, livestock and fisheries). We will also discuss how the PF Government is aggressively Enhancing Agriculture Value Chains under the first pillar of 7NDP “Economic Diversification and Job Creation”
The Author is Patriotic Front Secretary General At the Patriotic Front Secretariat Lusaka