In an address to the nation, President Hakainde Hichilema emphasized the importance of rural development as a cornerstone of Zambia’s growth. The President spoke passionately about the government’s commitment to creating a more equitable distribution of opportunities across the nation.
President Hichilema reminded citizens of the significant policy milestones achieved in May 2023 with the launch of the National Decentralisation Policy and the Zambia Devolution Support programme. These initiatives facilitate the seamless transfer of functions from the Central Government to Local Authorities throughout the country, signifying a crucial moment in the nation’s history.
The President highlighted the increased budgetary allocation towards the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as evidence of the government’s dedication to fostering development in every region. He envisions a Zambia where opportunities are not confined to urban centers but are accessible across the diverse landscapes of the entire nation.
Acknowledging the historical trend of migration from rural to urban areas, President Hichilema urged caution in such decisions. While recognizing migration as a natural aspect of human life driven by economic, social, and educational factors, he emphasized the need for well-defined purposes to prevent unintended destitution.
The President assured citizens that the government is actively creating an enabling environment in rural areas, with a particular focus on agriculture as a key component of the rural development strategy. Encouraging citizens to explore the vast potential within their rural landscapes, he emphasized the importance of investing in agriculture for sustainable and empowering livelihoods.
Affordable housing was also addressed as a critical aspect of rural development, with President Hichilema noting the government’s commitment to making decent housing more accessible in rural communities. The goal is not just to provide shelter but to contribute to the creation of vibrant, self-sustaining villages.
In tandem with rural development efforts, the Rural Electrification Authority has been empowered to connect more communities to the national power supply grid, enhancing the quality of life and unlocking new economic possibilities in rural areas.
President Hichilema called upon citizens to play a pivotal role in the success of these initiatives, emphasizing the collective responsibility to ensure that the benefits of rural development programs are fully realized. He implored citizens to explore and harness the opportunities available in rural communities before considering relocation to urban centers.