By Kay Musonda
In the last ten years, PF embarked on a robust program to turn Zambia into a middle income developing nation with equal opportunities and equal prosperity for all.
To achieve this, the PF government rolled out its manifesto for Zambia with key agenda items focusing on:
5. Water and Sanitation
7. Social welfare
8. Transport and Communication
10. Civil service reforms
These 10 pillars needed urgent attention in order to rejuvenate the Zambian economy and deliver meaningful development and prosperity for all. Prosperity in context of the PF agenda speaks not only to financial well-being but to having a healthy population through provision of access to clean water, access to good nutrition, access to good health facilities, access to good housing infrastructure, access to good roads and transport services, access to good communication and access to basic essential needs (for the workforce).
The PF has outdone itself and gone beyond it`s set goals in the health, education and agriculture sectors in the last 10 years. More than 1800 new secondary schools have been constructed, more than 2550 new primary schools, More than 20, 000 teachers employed translating into a teacher to pupil ratio at secondary level of 1 to 46 and at primary level of 1 teacher to 27 pupils. The country now has 7 public universities besides colleges across the country.
More than 30, 000 new health workers have been employed in the health sector with 30 new district hospitals, over 23 level one hospitals, 650 new health posts constructed, upgrading and creation of 4 hospitals to teaching hospitals, construction of the levy Mwanawasa university teaching hospital, construction of specialized hospitals in Lusaka and Muchinga.
A record breaking 4.5 million tons of maize will be harvested in the 2020-2021 farming season. The country has recorded record breaking bumper harvests in excess of 3 million tons per season for 3 seasons under the PF. This has never happened in the last 20 years of this country. FISP has been expanded to cover 1 million beneficiaries and inputs are distributed in record time (by august) allowing the farmer ample time to plan and prepare.
In the mining sector, the PF government has introduced scored huge milestones by taking ownership of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines (MCM). This has poured a fresh breeze into the mining sector with all jobs secured and mining suppliers and contractors having renewed hope of business continuity and growth. Government has further opened up vast opportunities and provided access to capital for local small scale miners through ZCCM –IH. These range from artisanal miners to actual small scale mainstream miners involved in exploitation of manganese, zinc, gold, semi-precious and precious stones. ZCCM-IH provides machinery and technical expertise besides serving as an off-taker to these small scale miners.
The last 10 years have also seen increased exploration, expansion, production and value addition activities in the mining sector at commercial or large scale level. The discovery of commercial scale gold deposits in Mwinilunga and the subsequent establishment of the ZCCM Gold Company is a milestone for this country under President Edgar Lungu and the PF. This simply means a whole new value chain or facet of the economy will be added to this country`s portfolio. Thousands of new jobs, new infrastructure and social amenities such as clinics, schools, markets, houses, roads and hospitals among others will be built in Kasenseli to support mining activities. The miners will need to be serviced with banks, communication, and food and basic household needs. In short this will be a whole new town adding to the GDP of this country whilst employing thousands and providing thousands more with business opportunities including in sectors such as transport, hospitality and other service industries.
The milestones scored by PF in the last 10 years are too numerous to quantify. It would take a year to exhaust the list.
WHY SHOULD PF BE RE-ELECTED?
1. Pro poor policies have proved effective, all-encompassing and feasible.
2. The 10 year agenda has led to benefits which are still accruing to the masses on many fronts and cannot be abruptly curtailed for political expediency or just to run a political change cycle. Development has to be meaningful and is an ongoing process. With the fundamentals PF has put in place over the last 10 years, Zambians are now beginning to reap the fruits of good infrastructure in:
3. PF has completed its first 10 years agenda and has transformed Zambia on many fronts through infrastructure development. The next item on our agenda is to actualize the benefits of that infrastructure. Under president Lungu, the PF has already began the next phase of its development agenda which Economic Empowerment of the Zambian Citizen. We have seen the urgency and passion the President has attached to creating an enabling environment for Zambians to own businesses, to own and run industries, to have access to markets and to have access to capital. The acquiring of 100 percent shares in Mopani is one such example of walking the talk when we say Zambia should be run by Zambians.
4. It is therefore only prudent that what has been set in motion by the PF government is seen to its fruition by the same party in government. Our transformation agenda is set in a long term plan for this nation and this year will mark the beginning of phase two in that plan. Phase two as earlier alluded to is Economic Empowerment of the Zambian Citizen through:
I. Increased ownership in Mining ventures
II. Opening up of new economic sectors such as the medical and industrial Marijuana program. This will create thousands of new jobs through farming, processing, research, marketing, value addition and development of value chains.
III. Opening up of industrial zones in all provinces
IV. Increased access to FISP
V. Increased number of beneficiaries on the social cash transfer scheme
VI. Enhanced aquaculture programs with a focus on fish processing for export
VII. Enhanced agro processing for export purposes resulting in new jobs
VIII. Enhanced mining and value addition to mining products for export resulting in new jobs
IX. Localizing supply contracts for mines resulting in retention of income and revenue in the local economy
X. Implementing trade agreements and protocols with SADC and COMESA states.
XI. Maximizing benefits of the Continental Free Trade Area which positions Zambia at the Centre of SADC as a distribution hub by Air, road and rail.
The next phase is one that centers on a “Zambia First” agenda. Zambian solutions, driven by Zambians for Zambians!
The next phase on the PF agenda is set to empower Zambians with ownership and management of their God given abundant wealth. The PF Is set to ensure Zambians benefit and prosper from this wealth. The PF has shown and proven it`s resolve in making the adverse effects of poverty resulting from the privatization era are reversed. The PF government will continue in its role of being an enabler of a good investment, trade and business environment for local and foreign investors. The PF government will ensure Zambians are protected from exploitation on all fronts.