President Edgar Lungu launched the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) with a pledge to reduce rural poverty.
Lungu said the plan will accelerate the building of a diversified economy where agriculture, value-addition and knowledge-based activities are entrenched in line with government’s desire to mitigate high levels of poverty.
“This is a big problem. A lot of people are trapped in poverty and inequality,” Lungu said as he launched the 7NDP themed “Accelerating development efforts towards Vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind”.
Lungu expressed concern that the bulk of Zambia’s workforce, mainly in the informal sector – with agriculture accounting for the largest portion – continues to record low productivity. Workers’ incomes can’t sustain their livelihood. According to official statistics, rural poverty accounted for 76.6% of national poverty levels.
“I’m confident that the development plan will be tied to the national budget and home-grown economic recovery programme, Zambia Plus, and lead to more inclusive economic growth that benefitted everyone,” he said.
World Bank country manager Ina Ruthernberg said it is vital for Zambia to meet the development goals envisaged in the plan to address equitable wealth creation for its citizens.
Ruthernberg said the World Bank will help Zambia to achieve a resilient economy in line with the country’s vision of 2030.