President Edgar Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia this week received the quarterly progress report from the Economic Diversification and Job Creation Cluster.
The President laid out his expectations from the Cluster at the beginning of the the meeting, indicating that there is a more urgent need by the Government to deliver development to all Zambians.
He said the Cluster is the engine of Zambia’s development through economic diversification. The President said prosperity could only be anchored on reliable energy, transport, information and Communication Technology, water resources, and quality infrastructure.
And the President has said the future demands that focus is on investing in climate-smart agricultural practices, including the establishment of resilient irrigation systems while harnessing water-harvesting techniques.
The President expressed happiness that “hope has been restored through various youth and women schemes that have been operationalized to support fisheries and livestock activities in 2020.”
On tourism, the President directed that local and foreign investment be brought into the Northern Tourism circuit. He added that the Northern Tourism Circuit has great potential to attract visitors due to its many wonderful sites.
“The covid-19 pandemic has resulted in lockdowns in most of our partner countries and this has had some immediate effects such as reduced numbers of international tourist arrivals,” The President said.
He further said due to suspended flights and travel bans imposed by many countries, the global and domestic economies have seriously been impacted.
“This is likely to continue for the rema,n,ng part of this year and probably beyond,” the President said, and added, “hence the need to reposition our economic activities to suit the new normal, including finding innovative ways to still encourage tourists to visit our country.”
Other challenges due to covid-19 included disruptions in the supply chain for inputs required in production, construction, and provision of services, the President said.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has said there is need to re-scope some of the on-going infrastructure works to free resources needed to meet emergent demands.
“It is important to be strategic and put in place measures that will deliver quick wins and turnaround the economy to the path of positive growth as we move towards the end of the 7th National Development Plan in 2021 and as we prepare for the next development plan,” the President concluded.
Mines and Mineral Development Minister, Hon. Richard Musukwa presented the Cluster Progress Report on behalf of other ministers.
The Cluster comprises the Ministries of Agriculture; Commerce, Trade and Industry; Energy; Finance; Fisheries and Livestock; Housing and Infrastructure Development; Labour and Social Security; Mines and Mineral Development; Tourism and Arts; Transport and Communications; Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection; Works and Supply; and Youth, Sport and Child Development.
Others are Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Higher Education; and National Development Planning.