Zambian President Edgar Lungu has launched the Seventh National Development Plan (2017-2021) centered on bringing about inclusive development, without leaving anyone behind, in line with the principles of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)of the United Nations.
According President Lungu, the projected resource envelope for the plan period estimated at 342.3 billion kwacha, averaging K68.5 billion annually is an important milestone towards the attainment of vision 2030. (1US dollar = K9)
The head of state disclosed that Zambia’s partners will be expected to contribute at least K12.6 billion saying that this will help ease pressure on the national treasury and that the fiscal deficit is, therefore, expected to close at 1.4 percent of gross domestic product by 2021.
“The Vision 2030 outlines our cherished long term aspiration: “To become a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030.”
“The overarching strategic focus of the Seventh National Development Pplan is to accelerate development efforts towards Vision 2030,” President Lungu said.
He noted that overall poverty levels have declined from 62.8 percent in 2006 to 54.4 percent in 2015 and attributed these achievements to planned interventions by government and development partners.
“Although overall poverty levels declined, I am concerned that rural poverty remains high at 76.6 per cent and unemployment rate is at 7.4 per cent. But despite these achievements, reviews of the previous national development plans indicate that a lot more still needs to be done,” President Lungu said.
He expressed concern at the majority of people in the informal sector which accounts for 89.3 per cent of the employed and where the youth are the majority and characterised by low levels of productivity and lack of social security.
According to the 2015 living conditions and monitoring survey, the poorest 50 per cent of households accounted for only 7.3 per cent while the richest 10 per cent accounted for 56 per cent of household income.