Minister of Finance and National Planning Dr. SITUMBEKO MUSOKOTWANE, MP, announced yesterday that the Zambian government has prioritized economic growth through local and foreign direct investment in order to attain sustained industrial development, job creation, and wealth creation.
Dr. Musokotwane, who was speaking during a ministerial panel discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, acknowledged that healthcare and other social services compete with other developmental priorities, but emphasized that the Zambian government is still committed to investing in these areas through interventions such as recruitment of health workers, regular release of funding for sustainability of hospital/health center operations, and supply of drugs.
He also said that Zambia’s fiscal decentralization drive through increased allocation of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has helped to empower grass-root people with resources to implement interventions in health, education, and other needy areas at the community level. The Minister added that Zambia is working towards augmenting social sector interventions and has initiated multiple schemes to strengthen systems and improve service delivery with a focus on quality, accessibility, and affordability by the ordinary people.
Dr. Musokotwane further briefed the high-level gathering that another priority of the Zambian Government is to grow the economy through local and foreign direct investment and create jobs and wealth. He called on more partners from the international community to take advantage of the friendly business and networking environment in the country to collaborate with Zambians in developing the energy, agriculture, mineral value-chain, manufacturing, and tourism sectors.
The Minister also noted that this is one way of ensuring that the country develops internal capacity to help sustain social sector investments. Participants at the event included Germany Federal Minister of Health Professor KARL WILHELM LAUTERBACH, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Prof. MTHULI NCUBE, World Health Organization Director General TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, and former Prime Minister of Britain, TONY BLAIR.
Dr. Musokotwane is currently attending key multiple sessions at the ongoing World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland on behalf of President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA. He is accompanied by Commerce Trade and Industry Minister CHIPOKA MULENGA, Bank of Zambia Governor Dr. DENNY KALYALYA, and Zambia’s Ambassador to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, EUNICE LUAMBIA. The WEF is providing a platform for engaging in constructive, forward-looking dialogues and helping to find solutions through public-private cooperation, “let us take advantage of our being here,” the Minister told his delegation.