President Edgar Lungu says the Patriotic Front (PF) government has prioritised infrastructure development because it is critical to the industrialisation agenda aimed at creating employment, increasing value addition and enhancing trade with the outside world.
President Lungu speaking at the official opening of the two day virtual PF National Convention held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka today, said government has addressed a number of challenges faced by the citizens through infrastructure development.
Outlining some of the benefits of infrastructure development, the Head of State noted that it is not just about building roads, structures and bridges, but also a way of creating jobs for citizens.
President Lungu explained that some sectors of society have always been against the idea, but that government has transformed Zambia with road construction and buildings, and has in turn created thousands of jobs for the youth in construction.
He added that government has constructed more health facilities in an effort to create universal health coverage for all people to access quality, affordable and cost-effective health care services without suffering financial hardships.
The Head of State further cited the construction of schools and higher learning institutions across the country, improving the energy sector, developing the aviation and agriculture sectors.
“What we have done to Zambia in terms of infrastructure development is unparalleled. I was just talking about jobs a few minutes ago, but what I know is infrastructure development is not just building roads and bridges, it is actually about jobs,” President Lungu stated.
The Head of State said that his promise to the Zambian people was socio-economic diversification, poverty reduction, and promotion of meaningful participation of Zambians in their economy, as entrepreneurs and workers.
He recalled the declarations he made with the Zambians, among them that government will continue building all the socio-economic infrastructure projects planned under the leadership of the Late President Michael Sata.
The President expressed happiness with many Zambians who have stimulated his vision by owning registered businesses and companies, Zambian contractors working side by side with foreign contractors and gaining skills apart from employing fellow Zambians.
President Lungu said that many people have been battling with the consequences of COVID-19, thus, amid the stimulus packages implemented, government also relaxed several measures so that economic activities can continue.
The President urged Zambians to join him in forging ahead and negotiate the challenges that haunt the country such as poverty, climate change, and the covid-19 pandemic.
“We must not be distracted by regionalism or be on each other’s neck because of politics. Instead we must unite as one people and forge ahead,” he noted.
President Lungu thanked his wife Esther Lungu for her love and support, his children among other family members for their understanding and perseverance.
He further expressed gratitude to Vice President Inonge Wina for her loyalty and support, the PF family who through the successes and setbacks supported him with a common purpose of working for the people without leaving anyone behind.
The convention which was virtual, was also attended by opposition party presidents who included Chishimba Kambwili of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Edith Nawakwi of FDD and Wynter Kabimba of Rainbow Party among others.
Other foreign political party representatives from Africa notably South Africa, Zimbabwe, Burundi, China and Russia were also in attendance to witness proceedings of the general convention.