The Minister of National Development Planning Honourable Alexander Chiteme has urged all stakeholders to actively participate in the formulation of the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).
Officially opening the National Development Coordinating Committee (NDCC) meeting today, Mr. Chiteme said the Government values the participation and contribution of various stakeholders in the formulation the of national development plans. He said the multisectoral contributions would enrich the contents of the 8NDP.
“In line with the National Planning and Budgeting policy of 2014 and the National Planning and Budgeting Act No.1 of 2020, Government has commenced the formulation of the Eight National Development Plan (8NDP),” Mr. Chiteme said. “Currently, the process is at the third phase: the analysis and priority setting. This follows the development of the concept note as well as an issues paper, undertaken in 2020, which constituted the first and second phases, respectively. The analysis and priority setting phase will be followed by the drafting and validation phases, which will culminate into the approval of the plan by the national assembly in December 2021.”
The Minister said the 8NDP will benefit from the Economic Recovery Programme 2020 – 2023 that His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic Of Zambia, recently launched.
He explained that the general macroeconomic framework and targets for the Economic Recovery Programme will feed into the 8NDP.
“The 8NDP and Economic Recovery Programme will be complementary,” Mr. Chiteme said.
Mr. Chiteme encouraged members of the NDCC, Cluster Advisory Groups (CAGs), Provincial Development Coordinating Committees (PDCCs) and District Development Coordinating Committees (DDCCs) to make oral or written submissions when stakeholder consultations on the plan commence.
“The holding of the NDCC meetings demonstrate that despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the business of actualising the development aspirations of this country must still forge ahead,” he said.
Reviewing the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), Mr. Chiteme said the year 2020 was the most challenging in the implementation of the 7NDP due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is no secret that the covid-19 pandemic has caused adverse impacts on our economy which has resulted in loss of employment, income and in some cases, loss of businesses,” the Minister said. “There has been a reduction in the collection of Government revenue while unforeseen expenditures due to covid-19 increased. For the first time in over 20 years, Zambia experienced an economic contraction now estimated at negative three (-3) percent. Arising from this, our fiscal space reduced further making it hard for Government to implement development programmes outlined in the 7NDP.”
The Minister said the7NDP was last year re-scoped to prioritise programmes for inclusion in the 2021 budget.
Therefore, Mr. Chiteme said: “Only high impact programmes and projects should be selected for execution in the spirit of doing more with less and in line with the recently enacted National Planning and Budgeting Act No.1 of 2020.”
And NDCC Chairperson, Secretary to the Cabinet Dr. Simon Miti, said a lot has happened in the implementation of Zambia’s development agenda since the last NDCC held in mid-2020.
“The main objective of this meeting is to reflect on the key developments in the execution of the 7NDP in the year 2020. Specifically, this meeting will: Receive and consider the 7NDP 2020 cluster performance reports as well as 2021 budget focus areas; Consider and adopt the July 2020 NDCC report and track the status of implementation of actions arising from the last NDCC meeting; receive the report from the secretariat encompassing several issues that have transpired since the last NDCC meeting including the enactment of the National Planning And Budgeting Act as well as the launch of the Economic Recovery Programme 2020 – 2023; and determine the way forward on items to be considered during the meeting,” said Dr. Miti.