Secretary to the Cabinet Dr. Simon Miti has called for strengthened partnerships with cooperating partners, civil society organisations, academia and other non-state actors in the formulation and execution of the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).
Speaking at the one-day virtual special meeting of the National Development Coordinating Committee on priority setting for the eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), Dr. Miti said the Zambian Government wishes to work closely with all stakeholders including cooperating partners, the private sector, civil society and the academia in the development of the 8NDP to ensure that there is ownership by all stakeholders during its implementation.
“We are desirous to strengthen partnerships with all stakeholders and leverage on all available opportunities to support the implementation of development programmes contained in the Plan. This is because the implementation of the national development plan will require financial resources beyond the national treasury and human capital beyond the government system,” said Dr. Miti in remarks delivered on his behalf by Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Administration) Mr. Patrick Kangwa on Friday. “National development plans in our context are plans to be formulated and executed jointly by the Government, development partners and non-state actors. That is why as a government, we involve all stakeholders throughout the process of formulation and implementation of the National Development Plans because we are cognizant that through our combined efforts, we can go an extra mile in achieving our national development goals.”
He reminded the participants about the treasury’s constrained fiscal position and the need to formulate a Plan that will foster economic recovery.
Dr. Miti explained that at the commencement of the preparation of the 8NDP, the Cabinet guided that the Plan should be “reform and recovery focused”. He said this was keeping in mind the key pending reforms that need to be fully implemented to address the bottlenecks to development and unlock the development potential of the country.
Dr. Miti further said it was imperative to pay attention to the macroeconomic framework because it will define the economic environment in which the 8NDP will be implemented.
He said the proposals for inclusion in the 8NDP should be realistic, credible evidence-based planning anchored on key statistics and attainable within the projected resource envelope during the period 2022 to 2026.
Speaking during the same meeting, development partners who included the United Nations, the European Union, the African Development Bank, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, and the Academia among others all pledged to support the implementation of the 8NDP by providing suggestions that will enrich the 8NDP, prioritize economic recovery and provide all inclusive development.
Representatives of the Cooperating Partners, the private sector, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Academia commended the Ministry of National Development Planning for coming up with a realistic and well-thought-out strategic areas of focus for 8NDP.
The stakeholders commended the Ministry and the Government leadership in general for being inclusive in their consultative process in the formulation of the 8NDP.
And in registering the United Nations’ support in the formulation and implementation of the 8NDP, UN Resident Coordinator Dr Coumba Mar Gadio said the UN’s Country Programme Documents (CPDs) will be based on the National Development Plans to allow for a developmental system that is harmonized with the country’s development agenda to foster a stronger, reliable, accountable and an effective partnership in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Dr. Gadio assured the Zambian Government of the organisation’s continued support for the country to attain its development objectives.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) country manager Ms. Mary Monyau and World Bank country manager Dr. Sahr Kpundeh pledged their institution’s assistance to actualise the progressive objectives of the national development plan.
Ms. Monyau emphasised the need for private sector involvement and the important role that women, the youth and gender equality play in development.
Ms. Monyau said the AfDB recognises the need to support the development of industrial clusters and role that the agricultural sector plays in the development.
Head of the European Union delegation Jacek Jankowski encouraged the prioritization of educating the girl child saying the future depended on equal access to education and gender equality which will, in turn, create well educated and self-confident women. He further emphasised the need for efficiency in enforcing policies and resource mobilization for the implementation of the plans that will be outlined in the 8NDP.
Zambia Private Sector Alliance (ZPSA) Chairperson Mr. Chabuka Kawesha said the private sector is concerned about the education system and called for it to be revisited to bring on board what is relevant in to-days world, to produce industry-ready graduates in all sectors. Meanwhile, Civil Society Representative and Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) acting Executive Director, Mrs. Christabel Ngoma, said the civil society organisations and citizens, in general, have insisted on the need to expand social protection programmes to adequately respond to the poverty and vulnerabilities resulting from emergencies such as droughts, floods and the Covid-19 pandemic. Mrs Ngoma said these reforms must further be accompanied by the enactment of the Social Protection Act and based on up to date statistics on poverty.
On behalf of the academia, the Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS) Vice-Chancellor Dr Kelvin Kayombo advised the Government to prioritise vocation education and technical training programmes that encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment.
Meanwhile, a youth representative echoed the need for encouragement of entrepreneurship through empowerment and skill training to encourage self-employment among young people.