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NEPAD ZAMBIA

Sajeev NAIR and Vladimir CHILINYA
Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS)
Africa Resource Centre (ARC) Zambia
14 June 2005

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ZAMBIA ALL SET TO IMPLEMENT NEPAD PROGRAMMES: FOREIGN MINISTER

Government of Zambia has agreed to accede to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and Zambia will be part of the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) steering committee very soon, said Hon. Ronnie S. Shikapwasha MP., Minister of Foreign Affairs at the consultative workshop on NEPAD. The minister stressed that NEPAD is a Government led project through private sector\civil society driven and that the Government attaches great importance to the NEPAD initiative not only because it is a social-economic programme of the African Union but also that , at the national level, the Government would like to use it as a major tool to achieve rapid economic growth and development as well as eradicating poverty. This speech was read on his behalf by Ambassador Akapelwa, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the launch of national consultative workshop organised Consumer Unity and Trusty Society-Africa Resource Centre (CUTS-ARC) and Participatory Ecological Land- Use Management (PELUM) Association, on 8-9 June 2005 at Lusaka’s Pamodzi Hotel.

Speaking at the same function, Canadian High Commissioner to Zambia John Deyell congratulated Zambia on its NEPAD effort to date. He said that although NEPAD has been with us for over three years now, there is still much work to be done in propagating and implementing its principles. At the Livingstone meeting in September 2004, the Government committed to formally accede to the APRM, and to establishing a NEPAD focal point within the Ministry of Foreign affairs. We expressed interest to learning how these and other initiatives are progressing. The High Commissioner stated that it was in this framework of NEPAD response that the Canadian Government announced in May this year that Zambia will be one of the 14 African countries, out of twenty five worldwide that will receive two-thirds of Canada’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) by 2010. High Commissioner Deyell recommended Zambia for delivering on the NEPAD commitment, and the Canadian government is committed to supporting efforts under NEPAD.

Speaking at the workshop, Managing Director of the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu, added that efforts have been and are being made in Zambia to improve the financial sector particularly the Banking system. Although the effort has not been triggered by the NEPAD proclamation, the progress being made will give impetus to the achievement of the NEPAD’s economic goals of eradicating poverty and putting Zambia on the path to economic development.

The NEPAD sponsored Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) provides Zambia a window of opportunity for pushing Zambia’s Agriculture sector forward as a tool for enhancing economic development in Zambia. The prerequisite to tapping this potential remains in the country’s commitment to allocating the minimum required resources of 10% of National Budget to agriculture and NEPAD’s ability to facilitate, through SADC, Zambia’s access to the required resources to implement the CAADP Agenda, said Dr. Anthony Mwanaumo of the Agriculture Consultative Forum (ACF).

Jack Jones Zulu of Jubilee-Zambia suggested that while NEPAD has the potential to raise the social and economic conditions in Zambia, financing NEPAD is by far the biggest operational challenge facing most African countries including Zambia, considering not just the history of poor economic performance by these countries but also, the very underdeveloped nature of their domestic economies.

The two day workshop highlighted a number of issues which could be addressed under NEPAD framework. There is need to improve the investment climate in Zambia, this can be attained by focusing on improving Peace and Security, Political & Economic Governance, Corporate Governance, Promotion of the Private Sector, Strengthen Regional Trading Blocks, Infrastructure and Human Resource Development, and prevention of HIV-AIDS said, Eugene Chandi of Zambia Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI).

Dr. Francis Chigunta of the University of Zambia proposed that, in order to maximize benefits from NEPAD there is need for capacity building for the sustainable implementation of NEPAD in Zambia. And this should be extended to all stakeholders, as identified at the NEPAD sensitization workshop held at Livingstone last year. Thus, the venture of capacity building should be targeted at different levels of actors, focusing on varying needs. This follow up workshop was organized in Lusaka to facilitate the launch of the partnership project titled Information based Advocacy, Networking and Capacity Building on NEPAD in Zambia and the programme is being supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

For further information:

Sajeev Nair/Vladimir Chilinya
Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS),
Africa Resource Centre (ARC)
Suite 4.11, 4th Floor, Main Post Office Building,
P.O Box 37113
Cairo Road, Lusaka
Ph: 260.1.224992
Fax: 260.1.225220
Email 1: cutsarc@zamnet.zm
Email 2: cuts-lusaka@cuts-international.org

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