Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Mulusa Calls for Inclusive Growth in Zambia
August 2, 2017

MINISTER of Development Planning Lucky Mulusa has called for integrated policies to redistribute gains from economic growth to address the country’s high poverty levels particularly in rural areas.

Mr Mulusa said while poverty has decreased over the past decade, it still remains high at 55 percent.

“This unequal distribution of income is linked to the lack of access to wage employment and lack of opportunities for non-agriculture self-employment.

“Poverty levels are found to be particularly high in rural areas and in the agriculture sector where majority of households live below the poverty datum line,” he said.

Mr Mulusa said this at the research and policy seminar on promoting inclusive growth held jointly with the Ministry and the International Growth Centre yesterday.

During the seminar, various issues relating to policy challenges to promoting inclusive growth in Zambia and promoting evidence-based policy dialogue were discussed.

The discussions were motivated by two studies by IGC on economic growth, inequality and poverty and understanding growth-income inequality interactions in Zambia.

Mr Mulusa said Government will strive to promote an inclusive growth initiatives to ensure that benefits of economic growth are shared equitably and key strategies employed according to the Seventh National Development Plan.

He said there is need to improve productivity in agriculture, create opportunities for unskilled wage employment in other sectors with greater potential for productivity like manufacturing.

“There is need to ensure that capital-intensive industries with low labour absorptive capacity are not favoured at the expense of more labour-intensive industries,” Mr Mulusa said.

Speaking at the same event, IGC country director Anand Rajavam said Zambia should re-focus on her economic model of development.

Dr Rajavam said the current model is not delivering sufficiently on reducing poverty.

“Quality of public investment needs to rise to have desired impact. Inter-sector linkages must be strengthened and spreading resources thinly must be avoided,” he said.

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