Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa has highlighted the importance of concerted efforts to positively transform the local economy and advance the government’s development agenda. His comments came in response to the release of the Green Paper on the 2024-2026 Medium Term Budget Plan (MTBP) by the Ministry of Finance earlier this week. Nkulukusa emphasized the need for interventions that would catalyze economic growth by enhancing private sector investment, production, and productivity.
The Green Paper serves as a communication tool to inform stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, development partners, and others, about the government’s macroeconomic and fiscal policies for the medium term.
Nkulukusa stressed the significance of ensuring efficiency in public service delivery to promote job creation, improve livelihoods, and effectively mobilize public resources for development. He noted that recent progress made in restructuring Zambia’s external debt and the efforts to restore macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability had boosted confidence in the country. This, he explained, presented an opportune moment to transform the economy, enhance economic resilience, protect vulnerable populations, decentralize service delivery, and address challenges such as climate change and pandemics.
“To transform the economy, there is an urgent need to work concertedly in progressing with the Government’s bold development agenda, even within the still constrained fiscal environment. As such, the 2024-2026 MTBP highlights key interventions that will be catalytic in spurring economic growth through enhancement of private sector investment, production and productivity, facilitation of efficiency in the delivery of public services to promote job creation and improved livelihoods, and in the mobilization of public resources for development. Among the key interventions will be the full and effective implementation of the Comprehensive Agricultural Transformation Support Programme (CATSP) to exploit the country’s comparative advantage in agriculture,” said Nkulukusa.
The Treasury Secretary emphasized the government’s focus on diversifying the economy, particularly through value addition in sectors such as mining, manufacturing, and tourism. Nkulukusa also stressed the need for digitization to improve efficiency both in the public sector and the wider economy. The decentralization policy aims to allocate resources for public service delivery, ensuring citizen participation in governance and development that prioritizes their needs. Additionally, the government intends to integrate gender, child, elderly, and disability issues into policies and strategies for implementing government programs and projects.
Nkulukusa expressed gratitude to President Hakainde Hichilema for addressing the team and reaffirming government support for their mission. He also welcomed stakeholders to submit their comments on the MTBP Green Paper for consideration in the upcoming 2024 National Budget.
As discussions and consultations continue, stakeholders are encouraged to provide their input on the proposed policy direction outlined in the Green Paper. These comments will be considered by the Minister of Finance and National Planning before finalizing the 2024-2026 MTBP and the 2024 Annual Budget, in line with the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).