The Ministry of National Development has commenced consultative engagements with multi sectoral stakeholders to determine and agree on the priorities of the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) currently being formulated.
Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary for Development Planning and Administration, Chola Chabala, called on all participants to actively contribute to the formulation of the 8NDP to yield positive results.
Mr. Chabala made a clarion call to stakeholders drawn from both public and private sectors and the civil society, when he officially opened a three-day consultative meeting that closes today.
He said the national development plan is a key guiding development document for the country hence the need for all stakeholders to be included in the preparation of the plan.
“The government appreciates the important role that you and our key stakeholders play in the national development process. Your practical experience and knowledge of the issues affecting our national development will be useful in our deliberations,” he said.
Mr. Chabala emphasised that the consultative process will depend on the participant’s active involvement and contributions.
He said the deliberations at the three-day consultative meeting were vital in arriving at effective and practical measures and coming up with the priority areas of the 8NDP, which will build on the successes of the seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) that expires in December this year.
“In developing the 8NDP, let me assure all colleagues gathered here that the government is convinced that as stakeholders, we will move as a united force to deliver on this important national assignment. We will need to agree on what the issues are, what needs to be done and cardinal will be to agree on the priorities of the plan bearing in mind that we cannot do everything in just the next five years,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for Finance and Economic Development Mike Masiye, explained that the formulation of the 8NDP was very important to the country’s development.
Dr. Masiye has since urged all participants to freely contribute to the discussion and explained that the formulation of the 8NDP was a matter of great interest to all citizens.
He pointed out that the 8NDP was being crafted at the time when Zambia and the global community in general, were faced with the challenge of Covid-19 and its effects.
“As part of the 8NDP formulation process, the government through the Ministry of National Development Planning is undertaking consultations with various stakeholders to build consensus on priority areas to be addressed during the plan period. The consultations take a ’whole of society’ approach in line with the spirit of not leaving anyone behind in the sustainable development discourse of our country,” he said.
Dr. Masiye further stated that the decision was arrived at after taking into consideration the current state of the economy, which calls for decisive policy, economic and structural reforms to take the country back on a positive growth trajectory.
The National Planning and Budgeting Act No. 1 of 2020 mandates the Minister of National Development Planning to cause the preparation of an integrated medium and long-term national development plan with budgets that consider regional and international development aspirations.
The Act further provides for an integrated National Planning and budgeting process that promotes the participation of state and non-state actors in the planning and budgeting process.