President Lungu opens the National Economic Summit in Livingstone
President Edgar Lungu stated that has he opened the National Economic Summit in Livingstone that his administration was committed to investing heavily in the key economic sectors of the country in order to have a diversified and inclusive economy.
President Lungu said he believes that development initiatives policies, strategies, tools and programmes such ad economic diplomacy, inclusive growth, and sustainable development should take centre stage as Zambia strives for economic prosperity for the African continent.
The President highlighted some of the economic initiatives his government has embarked on in a pursuit of inclusive growth, sustainable development, and economic diplomacy, among them the energy projects such as wind, solar energy and hydropower which have the potential to generate about 6,000 megawatts of electricity once fully completed. The Head of State also said his administration is aware that infrastructure development is a vital component in encouraging country’s economic growth by enhancing efficiency in production, transportation and communication.
“This is why my government is investing massively in infrastructure development to spur accelerated sustainable development and inclusive growth. This is being implemented through the construction of new, and expansion of existing airports; rail; and road infrastructure so that Zambia is land linked to the Southern Africa, Development Community (SADC), and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), and Africa as a whole,” he added.
Speaking at the same summit, visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta observed the need for African countries to embrace economic diplomacy as a way of promoting trade and investment. President Kenyatta said economic diplomacy has become a priority for trade and investment by most countries in improving trade and investment. He added that there is need for African countries to respond to the issues of trade noting that 95 percent of world trade is transacted outside the African continent. He noted that the cost of doing business in Africa is high which he said should be addressed. Adding that exports from Africa encounter several barriers which may affect growth.
President Kenyatta further observed the need to improve market access for African goods, increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), making Africa a tourism destination as well as marketing the continent’s full potential. The visiting Kenyan Head of State also emphasized the need for African countries to complement each other saying they are not in competition.
And in his official opening remarks, Economic Association of Zambia President Dr. Lubinda Haabazoka urged the government to continue investing in the energy sector as this is a pillar to economic development.
Dr. Haabazoka also commended the government for embarking on the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan whose aim is to have an inclusive, resilient and diversified economy.
Former Tanzania President HE Dr. Jekaya Kikwete also attended the summit and earlier gave a presentation on Agenda 2063 – The Africa we want.