Students and staff sat with great expectation awaiting to be enlighten by PMRC about the country’s economic state and the 7th National Development Plan (7NDP) which was launched on the 21st June 2017 by the president of the republic of Zambian Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
The PMRC team was introduced to the students, as the policy researcher Mr. Miselo Bwalya talked about the country’s economy in general. He explained that in the last couple of years, the economy in the sub-Sahara region has fallen from 3.4% to 1.4%. He later talked about Zambia’s economic challenges such as low commodity prices including copper, electricity deficits and high inflation. He outlined that out of the country’s GDP, only 18% entirely belongs to Zambia and of that, 7% of that 18 is dept. He later explained that in 2017, inflation has dropped from 7.5% to 6.6% which hasn’t been of significant help to the country’s economy.
He further noted that buying foreign products worsens the economy, if local people would trade among themselves it would boost the country’s economy. He encouraged the audience to always collect receipt for every purchase made. He explained that doing so would force companies to record the transaction because where money is exchanged there should be tax paid as well. He mentioned that this would help the country in a way.
Mr Salimu Kaunda walked the audience through 7th National Development Plan (7NDP). The 7NDP’s theme is “accelerating development efforts towards the vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind”. Mr Kaunda explained that the 7NDP’s vision will create a diversification of the economy. He explained further to say the strategy on how to achieve this plan is based on the 5 pillars of the economic recovery plan. These pillars are;
2. Helping the people who are deemed to be vulnerable
3. Raise levels of accountability and fiscal governance in allocating and use of public funds
4. Unplanned expenditure is minimized and
5. Job creation, growth and economic benefits policy consistency to raise confidence for sustained private sector investment.
With all this said, he later stated that the Zambian curriculum is being changed in order to allocate money towards skill development. This was later followed by a Question and answer session and ended with closing remarks from Mr Sikobela thanking PMRC for a session filled with mind-opening information.
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