The Social Cash Transfer programme was adopted to be one of the major social protection interventions whose aim is to continuously reduce extreme poverty in Zambia. The Program is among other social protection initiatives such as the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) which involves in kind transfers to the needy and the Food Program Management which is the provision of food to vulnerable households. These programmes implemented by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) for Incapacitated households.

The main aim of these programmes is to;

  • Provide and promote quality social welfare services
  • Alleviate poverty
  • Reduce destitution
  • Promote family values and
  • Reducing juvenile delinquency


Recommendations On The Way Forward ToSuccessfully Implement The Programme

In view of the challenges faced during the implementation of SCT in Zambia, PMRC recommends the following:

  • Set up and communicate an official channel for feedback from beneficiaries
  • Increases in budgetary allocations towards the SCT (increase in amount and number of beneficieries in comparison to poverty levels
  • Increased capacity building for integrated MIS and improved management systems will to reduce the administrative cost of implementing the SCT
  • Periodic forensic audits to ensure that there is an authentic data base of true beneficiaries.
  • Prioritizing monitoring and evaluation to avoid corruption and general aid diversion n Ensure that the transfer is more predictable and reduce the delays in payments. This will ensure that the beneficiaries are not inconvenienced
  • Establish a specific period for occasional registration of potential beneficiaries.


Domestic Resource Mobilization (D.R.M.) refers to the generation of savings from domestic resources and their allocation to economically and socially productive investments. Such resource allocation can come from both the public and private sectors. The public sector does this through taxation and other forms of public revenue generation.


The seminar was jointly hosted by the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) and the Chinese Embassy in Zambia. The Zambia – China Infrastructure Development Cooperation Seminar was held from the 12th to the 13th of October 2017 at Taj Pamodzi Hotel under the theme “Delivering Inclusive and Sustainable Infrastructure”.

The main objective of the seminar was to assemble a wide range of key experts and stakeholders to discuss the best practices in Infrastructure Development by sharing their expertise and experiences as well as provide inputs and new insights on how Zambia can realize Infrastructure Development.

The seminar was officially opened by Hon. Ronald Chitotela Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development and closed by Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe  Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry and PMRC Board Chairman. Over 150 delegates representing Government Ministries (such as the Ministry of National Development Planning, Ministry of  Housing and Infrastructure Development, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Local Government), Government Agencies such as the Road Development Agency (RDA), Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) among others attended the seminar.

Chinese firms involved in Infrastructure Development were represented by firms such as AVIC International, China Jiangxi and Henan International. Zambian local contractors were also represented individually and by organisations such as the Zambia Association of Women in Construction, the National Association for Medium and Small Scale Contractors and the National Council for Construction.

The seminar deliberations were guided by the following topics;

Challenges and Opportunities towards Infrastructure Development in Zambia.

Conducive Policy environment required for enhancing Infrastructure Development in Zambia

Discussions on China’s experiences with Infrastructure Development and explore lessons.

Investment Pitches: Opportunities for collaboration among Chinese investors, government agencies and the local investors.

Discussing how China can work with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to promote Infrastructure Development.

Highlights of Deliberations

Panel discussions stressed the need for the Government to conduct project appraisals before carrying out major infrastructure projects so as to assess their feasibility and benefit to the community and economy as a whole.

The panel emphasised the need to strengthen and improve the use of Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) in the execution of infrastructure projects.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was identified as a potential sector that required infrastructure development as these improvements would create business opportunities for internet and telecommunication services.

The need to enhance and improve the country’s 20% sub-contracting policy was emphasized. Implementation of the 20% sub-contracting policy must ensure that Zambian citizens are empowered and monitored to ensure the completion of projects.

The panel also noted that Infrastructure Development concentrated on roads whilst foregoing other transport sectors such as aviation, rail and water transportation that also need of Infrastructure Development.

A proposal was made to create a Sino-Zambia Chamber of Commerce to enhance business relations between Chinese and Zambian Nationals.

Calls were made to improve the policy environment to encourage the private sector to take up Infrastructure Development in tourism, energy, telecommunication and railway.

The gathering was informed that the National Council for Construction Act was under review to include inspection of sub-contracting standards. Calls were then made to improve stakeholder consultation in the process.

Submissions were made by the Zambia Disability Network to improve enforcement and ensure that the universal designs are adhered to when infrastructure is being built to ensure inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities.

The seminar learnt that the lack of knowledge about entry and participation in the Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs) had hindered local investors from taking advantage of the MFEZs and Industrial parks

Further, it was also learnt that there were opportunities for the private sector to finance the utilities within the MFEZs.

The need to further review the Zambia Development Agency Act was emphasized to ensure that it included a small scale strategy that would lead to enhanced participation and partnering of local firms with Chinese firms and other foreign firms investing in infrastructure.


Zambian firms need a platform through which they can engage government on PPP investments that reflect an international level of delivery. An element of technical support to raise the standard of local private business proposals needs to be looked into.

Government needs to increase its level of consultation with professional services on what sort of infrastructure (in terms of intended end use and design) rather than just focus on engagement with contractors.

Government needs to take the lead in scoping opportunities and supporting feasibility studies that private sector can take up.

Broad based consultations in fora such as the symposium and at community level in affected areas are needed to identify infrastructure opportunities that deliver social and economic impact.

The financial sector needs to be realigned to national development needs such as the cost of finance and regulatory requirements for lending to private sector firms that want to create/explore infrastructure development opportunities.

Explaining Critical Features Of The 7NDP – Part 2  | Theme: Economic Diversification and Job Creation


According to statistics in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), agriculture sector is the fourth largest contributor to GDP (8.7 percent) and the largest contributor to employment. The sector is critical for achieving diversification, economic growth and poverty reduction in Zambia. We observe that the 7NDP will focus on agricultural development, considering two major leverage effects:

Increasing farmers’ incomes directly supports rural demand, which results in the development of new activities and the diversification of the local economy, contributing to the overall process of structural transformation.

Increasing agricultural outputs leads to the development of both upstream and downstream activities, the consolidation of value chains and the expansion of agro-industries, which are significant sources of employment and present ideal opportunities for economic diversification.

Diversification within the agriculture sector will be central in improving productivity, providing inputs to agro-processing and the manufacturing sector, for increased contribution to foreign exchange earnings among others. Agro-diversification and development will thus be based on comparative and competitive advantages in line with the Government’s Green Revolution agenda. From the 7NDP it is clear that focus will be placed on improving production of high value exports, such as cashew nuts, coffee, maize, wheat, tea, cotton, sugar, fish, agro-forestry and livestock products as well as other commodities to support the local manufacturing sector. Further, in view of agriculture development, suffice to say that, irrigation development remains a key intervention for increasing crop diversification, production and productivity.

Fisheries Potential: Fisheries offer great potential for diversification, gainful employment and poverty reduction. The fisheries sub-sector in Zambia is however, underdeveloped contributing around 3.2 percent to national GDP and many natural water bodies have been overfished due to inadequate legislation, control and surveillance. Thus, the transformation of both livestock and fisheries into diversified, competitive and export-oriented sub-sectors envisaged over the 7NDP period will require increased investment in water management and aquaculture-related infrastructure, ICT, logistics, storage, cold chain and road infrastructure.


Strategy 1: Improve production and productivity

Production and productivity improvement to be undertaken along the entire product value chain from farm to agro-processing and manufacturing at the sector and enterprise levels. The increase in production will be achieved through intensified agricultural mechanization, increasing the area under cultivation and the number of farmers participating in production.

Strategy 2: Improve access to finance for production and exports

This strategy will focus on enhancing access to affordable finance for farmers, agri-business MSMEs and exporters of high value agricultural products. Other interventions will include access to finance for auxiliary services to production and exports.

Strategy 3: Enhance agriculture value chains

Development in the sector value chains will include investment in production, agro-processing and marketing, including export market and distribution mechanisms. Value chain development will promote the participation of small and medium enterprises, coupled with provision of business development services to enterprises along different value chains. A notable development is that; Agro-processing parks will be established to support the processing of primary agricultural products into value added products.

Strategy 4: Promote diversification within the agriculture sector

The 7NDP clearly indicates that focus will be placed on agricultural diversification in crops, fisheries, livestock and forestry products based on comparative and competitive advantage of each product and agro-ecological zones.

Strategy 5: Enhance investment in agricultural infrastructure

Investments in agricultural infrastructure will be prioritised to create a conducive environment for a vibrant agriculture sector. Key among such infrastructure will be warehousing, storage, breeding centres and irrigation, among others.

Strategy 6: Promote small-scale agriculture

Small-scale agriculture has the potential to create jobs and enhance the living conditions of rural communities with the proviso that some key actions are implemented to improve the income, rights and status of farmers . These actions include addressing risk reduction through improved farming systems, a better market environment, secure land rights and adequate provision of public goods and social protection among others.


The main  mining activity in Zambia is large-scale copper mining while the production; processing and export of other minerals has remained underdeveloped. Under the 7NDP, emphasis will be on broadening the range of minerals to cover non-traditional mining of gemstones, gold and industrial minerals as well as promotion of value addition to mining products.

PMRC observes that under the 7NDP a programme will be set up, financed through the Environmental Protection Fund and will be invested into productive jobs for environmental restoration, notably reforestation. This is a very positive move in view of the need for a green economy. Another development sighted is that: mining of iron ore will be scaled-up to support the growth of the newly declared Kafue Iron and Steel Multi-facility Economic Zone. PMRC  further observes that there is an opportunity for small-scale miners to tap into the programmes that are being lined up under the 7NDP in the mining sector.

Strategy 1: Promote exploration of gemstones and industrial minerals

Focus will be on increasing exploration, mining, processing and promoting use of industrial minerals and gemstone products, to increase contribution to the growth of other sectors. Under Mining, we observe that the Government has resolved to strengthen policy implementation and regulatory enforcement that does not stifle exploration of new mineral deposits.

Strategy 2: Promote local and foreign participation in mining value chains and industrialization

Under this strategy, efforts will be made to facilitate mining-based value addition and industrialization by supporting the development of manufacturing industries to produce inputs for other sectors, to contribute to the growth of other sectors.

Strategy 3: Promote petroleum and gas exploration

The strategy facilitates the establishment and capacity development of relevant institutions to monitor and regulate petroleum exploration. In addition, a governance framework for the sector will be established to attract investment and ensure efficient, safe and environmentally friendly petroleum exploration.

Strategy 4: Promote small-scale mining

As part of the diversification agenda within the mining sector, the Government will focus on building the productive capacity of small-scale miners involved in the exploration of gemstones and industrial minerals.


As a public policy research think tank, PMRC welcomes this development outcome, as it underscores the critical role and importance that research and development (R&D) plays in the innovation and development process of our country.  It is a fact that Research is a key element of many developmental agendas and, when well-planned and used, enables a government to formulate evidence-based policies that lead to massive economic gains over a period of time.  The 7NDP is  key to Zambia’s development agenda. R&D is expected to play a critical role in the diversification process and to explore opportunities that will enhance the productive capacities of the various sectors of the economy. During the Plan period, R&D will be given priority. PMRC submits that in order to achieve the objectives set out in the 7NDP, there is need for the Government together with stakeholders to invest in research and development. It is through research that evidence to inform cost-effective programming and policy changes can be generated to allow positive contributions to economic diversification and creation of decent jobs. PMRC positions itself as a medium through which various research will be conducted; that compliments the strategies and programmes set out in the 7NDP.

Selected strategies

Strategy 1: Enhance research and development, and innovation capacity

The strategy will focus on developing a high quality research base with a critical mass of highly qualified human resource, modern adequately equipped infrastructure and a technology development structure that will popularise science and technology for promoting and creating a national culture of research and innovation. This will increase national research activities in all sectors of the economy to enhance value addition for increased productivity.

Strategy 2: Enhancing policy formulation and analysis

To drive the economic diversification agenda, the Government will focus on strengthening policy-making processes through investing in research and analysis. Therefore, capacities will be strengthened to produce evidence-based analytical studies that will adequately inform policy development and subsequent paradigm shift.

The 3rd edition of the 7NDP-OPED series will focus on development outcomes in Tourism, Energy, Transport and Infrastructure.

Dear Friends and Colleagues

Worldwide economic growth and development over the last century has resulted in an unprecedented loss of biodiversity and a consequential reduction in ecosystem services and this has led to an increase in the emergence of biodiversity related diseases. The link between biodiversity and disease exist naturally in wildlife population, which form a reservoir of infection with sporadic spill over into human population. Ecological factors such as climate change, rainfall and vegetation support insect species such as tsetse flies.

Zambia has a vast area of national parks, game management areas and reserved forests, which support the tsetse fly population. Statistics indicate that about 30 – 40% of Zambia’s land is infested with tsetse flies, notably in Eastern and Southern provinces of Zambia (Luangwa valley  and Kafue land areas). When these flies feed on human and livestock blood, they cause a disease in humans referred to as, Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) and in animals called African Animal Trypanosomiasis (ATT). An Increase in the presence of tsetse flies has had negative consequences in infested areas in the growth of the agricultural and tourism sectors and loss of many lives. In His Speech to the 12th Session of the National Assembly, the Republican President His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu stressed Government’s commitment to diversifying from an economy based on copper mining to depend heavily on agriculture and that this must be achieved against all odds.

The need for economic diversification in the country away from the mining sector to the agricultural and tourism sector has lead to the expansion of these sectors. The agriculture and tourism sectors have been recognised by the government as alternative sources of employment creation. The increased spread of tsetse flies in the country has an impact on livestock production, this means that 60% of the country’s livestock is at risk, while the tourism sector is being affected by the transmission of diseases to wildlife in the national parks. Inability to control the effects from the flies will definitely affect the economic diversification especially in the agricultural sector. Sleeping sickness cases have been reported in Zambia before and failure to manage these cases has consequences on human health. The livestock sector remains key in supporting the entire agricultural production sector by providing animal draught power; protein and milk for improved nutrition; income generation and providing green energy to households (Biogas) and providing households and communities with healthy foods through organic manure.

We are aware that once these commitments are fulfilled, Zambia will boast of a resilient food system but also a great source of employment to improve livelihoods. The livestock sector remains key in supporting the entire agricultural production sector by providing animal draught power; protein and milk for improved nutrition, income generation, providing green energy to households (Biogas) and providing households and communities with healthy foods through organic manure. Zambia would do well to invest more in the livestock sector to mitigate the current high and unaffordable prices of fertilisers.

During the 34th African Union International Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control Conference in Livingstone, His Excellency President Edgar Lungu, reaffirmed that the Government would support initiatives to eradicate tsetse flies and he further challenged scientists and livestock stakeholders to eradicate tsetse flies through research and development. This reaffirmation has come at the right time when organisations have come together to fight tsetse flies such as Hivos Zambia, Policy Monitoring and Research Centre, Bio vision and Millennium Institute who have created models that will help in the implementation of the diversification agenda and are further   proposing for the Government to introduce and implement technologies that can combat the incidences to ensure that livestock restocking and promotion achieve results

Therefore as organizations we propose the following recommendations;

1- Increased funding in the research and development to  help contain tsetse flies.

2- Increase opportunities for capacity building for farmers in agricultural extension services and disease control.                           

3- Increased public awareness on prevention, identification  and treatment   procedures for HAT and AAT.

On Tuesday 23rd January 2017, the PMRC research team appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism to discuss The State of Zambia’s Tourism Sector”. The submission was based on the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP, total revenue collected  and statistics on employment in the past recent years. Additionally, the memorandum will present recent institutional and policy reforms, stating whether or not they have been sufficient to promoting development of the sector (to enhance its contribution to the nations socio- economic development). Lastly, the memorandum will present recommendations that will lead to the enhancement of the tourism sector. 

The following are major highlights from the PMRC submission;  

In August 2013, Zambia and Zimbabwe co-hosted the 20th United Nations World Tourism Organization General Assembly (UNWTO). This significant event presented an opportunity for Zambia to improve tourism infrastructure (especially in the tourist capital), services, and various tourism related businesses emerged increasing employment for the locals. Despite the successful assembly, there were various challenges experienced during and after the general assembly. One of the major challenges faced by the sector after the UNWTO General Assembly,is the lack of effective implementation of the Tourism Satellite Account to collect  data.  Although the sector has continued to record a progressive performance rate, this development has been minimal.   

The tourism sector has been identified as one of Zambia’s key economic sectors as the nation works towards diversifying the economy. This is mainly due to the vast resources and various tourism products the nation has to offer. Some of these include; 20 national parks, 34 game management areas, 4 major rivers, 16 major waterfalls, 8 fresh water lakes, diverse wildlife, over 779 bird species and many more products.

Direct Contribution to GDP

In the recent years, there has been a steady but minimal increase in the tourism sector’s direct contribution to GDP. The direct contribution to GDP includes GDP generated directly by the travel and tourism sector to national GDP. The sectors direct contribution to GDP increased from an average of about 2.3 percent (about 200 million USD) in 2011 to an average of about 3.7 percent (about 320 million USD) in 2015. 

Total Earnings 

Total earnings in the tourism sector have slightly increased from an average of K2.3 billion (441 million USD) in 2012 to about K2.8 billion (536 million USD) in 2014. Research by the Ministry of Tourism and Arts (MTA)revealed that the accommodation earnings contribute the highest amount of revenue collected in the tourism sector. Despite the minimal increase in total revenue collected by government from the sector, there is an opportunity to increase these earnings further through adequate implementation of revised policies, legislation and seasonal incentives to the sector. 


Total contribution to employment is the number of jobs generated directly in the Travel & Tourism sector, including indirect and induced contributions. This number has increased from 31,900 in 2011 to 83,500 in 2014.World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) further projects that the number of jobs created in travel and tourism is expected to rise to about 118,000 jobs in 2025 (WTTC, 2014). 

Institutional and Policy Framework 

The tourism sector has undergone various reforms in the past 5 years. Among the major changes in the sector are the enactment of the Tourism and Hospitality Act of 2016. This piece legislation precedes the Tourism and Hospitality Act of 2007 and the Zambia Tourism Board Act, 2007 that were repealed. The changes in these pieces of legislation have resulted in various institutional reforms. Some of these include but are not limited to the following; 

  1. The establishment of the Zambia Tourism Agency- to take over the functions of Zambia Tourism Board and other functions from MTA departments.
  2. Creation of the Tourism Development Fund- for tourism product development, tourism infrastructure, tourism marketing, tourism training and research. 
  3. Introduction of the Tourism Levy- to be paid by tourism enterprises. 

Other institutional changes in the sector include the change of the Zambia Wild Life Authority (ZAWA) to The Department of National Parks and Wildlife. This change was effected due to various inefficiencies, which hampered the authority’s performance. 

PMRC Recommendations 

  • Carry out a cost benefit analysis of various tax incentives and licensing reforms.
  • Establishment of a national airline.
  • Increased political will for the funding of various tourism related developments, and effective implementation of revised policies and legislation .
  • Maintain a stable economic landscape to reduce the cost of doing business.
  • Robust tourism marketing (domestic and international) to incorporate all tourism products including visual arts culture, heritage sites and others. 
  • Tourism diversification to other products in addition to the Victoria Falls. This should include arts, culture and other products.
  • Improved data collection of tourism related statistics 


There must be increased funding towards the implementation of the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for the collection of various information and statistics on the sector. Effective marketing through dynamic tourism packaging is key to increased tourist arrivals and increased length of stay which will translate into higher tourism earnings. 

In the  2017  national budget, the government of Zambia announced plans to introduce ‘cost-reflective tariffs’ for electricity by the end of 2017. This means removing the subsidies, which currently allow ZESCO to charge consumers less than the cost of producing and distributing electricity. In view of the current economic context, with a large government budget deficit, this is a welcome decision. Some major considerations need to be pondered. The question is “how can cost reflective tariffs be introduced while adequately protecting the poorest Zambians and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)?” The other consideration is “How can the policy change be sustainable and not just end up being reversed in the future?”

This article is an excerpt from a PMRC interim report, which is exploring these questions. It assesses the international experiences, predominantly from other countries, in seeking to introduce cost-reflective tariffs. While no two countries are the same, lessons for Zambia can be learnt from the successes and failures of other countries.

In particular, the PMRC report highlights the relatively successful case studies of Kenya and Uganda. While reform has not been complete, there has been some success. But it also looks at examples of where reforms have not been successful and the example of Mexico is provided where there was a clear policy failure in energy reform. 

The key lessons drawn from these international experiences are:

  1. Tariff reform should be part of a comprehensive reform plan: for example, in Uganda tariff increases were accompanied by increases in generation capacity, with the opening of a large new hydroelectric plant.
  2. A communications strategy, with transparent access to information, is vital: the Ugandan government and local newspapers made clear the regressive nature of electricity subsidies, with the rich benefiting the most.
  3. Energy price increases need to be phased: in Kenya reform was only possible over 5-10 years. On average countries that successfully implement changes appear to need at least 5 years.
  4. Tariff reform needs to be accompanied by improvements in the efficiency of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs): Country experiences suggest the importance of strengthening SOE governance, improving demand management and revenue collection, and better exploiting scale of economies to offset costs associated with inefficiencies. The Zambian government plans to conduct a situational analysis of all SOEs under its portfolio with a view to recapitalize those that have a good business case and hiving off those that are not viable.
  5. Targeted mitigating measures to protect the poor are necessary: it is essential to provide support for the poorest consumers. This can take the form of life-line tariffs (the Zambian government plans to maintain life-line tariffs, but no details are yet available on this given that the tariff measure covers all households) or, for example, more generous Social Cash Transfers.
  6. Energy pricing should be depoliticised: responsibility for deciding on electricity prices can be given to an independent body to increase the chances of success and avoid political interference (as was the case in Kenya, the Philippines, and Turkey).

Zambia can learn from these experiences. For example, thinking carefully about how best to target life-line tariffs will be important. And how to combine increases in tariffs with improved reliability of supply will also be vital. With a good rainy season this year, Zambia might have a good opportunity of success with these planned reforms. 

Having gathered all this evidence to inform policy, PMRC intends to use the insights from international experience to inform the next steps in the ongoing Energy reform project. These next steps are to assess the impact of the current tariff structure in Zambia on the poorest households (through a distributional analysis) as well as on SMEs (through interviews and a stakeholder analysis). In a final report, due later this year, recommendations for government on how best to successfully implement the much needed tariff reforms in Zambia will be provided. 

On Wednesday 18th January 2017, the PMRC research team appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates to discuss “Fiscal Decentralisation” in Zambia and potential budgetary changes to promote service delivery. The submission and discussions focused on understanding the concept of Fiscal decentralisation, assessing the status of sub-national authorities and also analyzing possible institutional and budgetary changes in light of decentralisation. 

The following are major highlights from the PMRC submission;  

The main aim of the Decentralization Policy 2013 is to promote people’s participation in democratic governance at the local level. It is important to note that not all functions would be transferred to the lower levels and councils, but that Central Government shall retain some core functions over essential national matters. 

Focusing on Decentralisation Policy Implementation progress, it was noted that: The transfer of functions from Central Government to Councils commenced in January 2015 and, apart from devolving functions, the Cabinet Circular also mandated Councils to create “Ward Development Committees (WDCs)” as the fourth tier of Government as required in the Revised National Decentralisation Policy (R-NDP) then.  In view of this, the National Planning and Budgetary Policy states that Districts will be required to submit District Development Plans (PDP), which will be forwarded to the province and feed into the Provincial Development Plan. The province will then send the PDP to the Ministry of Finance . 

Capacity Issues: The Reality of Fiscal Decentralisation (The need to Strengthen Capacity) 

  • For sub national and local authorities to supervise their many new functions previously undertaken by Central Government, they will require massive capacity building and recruitment of top-level high quality administrators. The challenge therefore for the Central  Government is to ensure that adequate resources are made available  to all implementing institutions.  
  • District and sub-district level community structures would also need strengthening to fully appreciate decentralization and the levels of civic responsibilities that the local communities now need to play. 
  • The general citizenry further needs capacity building for them to effectively participate in the affairs and running of their local district and sub-district level authorities. 

The Creation Of New Districts

The discussion around the creation of new districts bordered on; Government expediting the infrastructure, institutional and financial resources to ensure that the new districts are equipped with all requirements necessary to implement tasks. 

LESSONS FROM BEST PRACTICE – the case of South Africa 

Fiscal decentralisation in South Africa involves shifting some responsibilities for both revenue and expenditure to sub-national levels of government. Based on the “Division of Revenue Act”, which annually allocates national revenues to each of the three spheres of government, the South African Intergovernmental Fiscal System (IGFR) provides a framework of fiscal arrangements aimed at ensuring that government responsibilities are met, while the right level and mix of public services are delivered to enhance the socioeconomic rights of citizens.  

PMRC proposed to the committee that the Zambian Government should seriously consider learning from the South African framework in implementing fiscal decentralization. 


In learning from best practice, the following are some of the key points noted to aid effective decentralisation implementation: 

  • Conducive policy environment: there should be conducive policy environment which sub divides mandates and sub national authorities, clearly establishing tasks and roles. 
  • Phased approach: Decentralisation is a long-term process that needs to be planned for and undertaken in stages. (for example: Uganda and Kenya had a series of pilot projects in reference to decentralization.)
  • Proactive and practicality of implementation: Ensuring that decentralisation is implemented in practice. There should be political will and commitment. 
  • Matching plans to resources: Resource allocation and mobilization has been highlighted as a key requirement for the effective implementation of plans.
  • Capacity building: for efficient and effective resource management and decision making.


Experience has clearly shown that effective decentralization requires complementary adaptations in institutional arrangements for intergovernmental coordination, planning, budgeting, financial reporting, and implementation.  Of utmost importance is transparency and accountability to local constituencies supported by strengthened higher level monitoring and reporting of local fiscal performance. PMRC affirms that with effective implementation, well-defined responsibilities, definite functions, and distinct lines of authority and communication, Government may attain the set objectives of increased community participation and improved service delivery through decentralisation.


Policymakers should take the following observations into account:

  • Financial decentralisation should not be used as a means for national governments to shift the burden of financing services to sub-national governments and private providers. (The mandate should be clearly outlined) 
  • Fiscal decentralisation requires citizen participation since resource allocations should reflect local preferences. The challenge is to overcome the technical complexity of the process and find appropriate ways to institutionalize participation. (The case of checks and balances)
  • Further, steps to enhance service delivery by sub-national authorities need to focus more sharply on coherent policies targeted towards outcomes. (The case of the 7 National Development Plan)
  • Strengthen accountability mechanisms to prevent corruption and misappropriation of funds as fiscal decentralisation is being implemented.

Financial literacy can be understood as the education and understanding of various financial areas with focuses on the ability to manage personal finance matters in an efficient manner.  Financial literacy includes the knowledge of making appropriate decisions about personal finance such as investing and saving. Key financial stakeholders in Zambia hold awareness weeks on an annual basis. The aim of the Financial Awareness Week Campaign is to educate and sensitize the general public about various topics on financial matters. The campaign is adapted to meet the objective of our National Strategy on Financial Education (NSFE).

Financial inclusion is driven by financial literacy, as financial literacy increases so does the demand for financial services, therefore improving financial inclusion. Financial inclusion can be defined as making financial services accessible at affordable costs to all individuals and businesses, irrespective of net worth and size respectively. According to the Central Bank, Zambia’s formal and informal rate of financial inclusion of its citizenry stands at 60% with 38 % being formal, while informal stands at 22%. This is a considerable improvement from the 40% (both formal and informal recorded) in 2009.

This year the Financial Literacy Week will run from 27 March to 2 April, 2017 under the theme: “Know and plan your finances to lead a better life”. The aim of this year’s Financial Literacy Week is to create public awareness of the Key Life Events so as to empower citizens with the knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to meet the financial obligations associated with the events.

PMRC focuses on the second element which encourages citizens to plan for Key Life Events. Planning for Key Life Events involves encouraging citizens to save and make investments to smoothen future consumption. Various studies provide evidence which suggests that intervention such as financial education improves personal and household savings.

PMRC is further encouraged by plans to extend financial education to rural areas and schools as is contained in the Central Bank’s Strategic Plan.  PMRC believe these are key strategic focal points that must be included in efforts to increase financial literacy. The schools should ensure that a saving culture is inculcated in the youth who are the majority, while the rural areas account for the majority of those financially excluded.

Finally PMRC firmly believes that financial literacy is key to developing the informal sector. Zambia’s informal sector is estimated at approximately 50% of GDP, this is uncharacteristically large and undermines domestic revenue collection which is below the regional average at 18%. Improving financial literacy could prove to be a useful tool in reducing the size of the informal sector and ultimately boost economic growth. 

Climate change is widely recognized as one of the major challenges facing humanity and to address such a global issue, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was therefore adopted in 1992 to stabilize Green House Gases (GHG) concentration in the atmosphere. By definition, climate change is “a long-term change in the earth’s climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature.” It is widely recognized that climate change constitutes a significant and serious threat to sustainable development of any country. Evidence shows that Zambia has over the past years experienced a number of climate related hazards including droughts and dry spells, seasonal and flash floods, and extreme temperatures. Therefore, actions to minimize the potential future impacts of climate change are critical. The Climate Change Secretariat in Zambia recently indicated that over US$ 50 billion is required for both mitigation and adaptation to climate change effects. This is because the impact of climate change is long term and therefore long-term interventions are required.

International Agreements on Climate Change

The Paris COP 21

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) since the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. COP 21 negotiated the Paris Agreement, “a global agreement on the reduction of climate change”, which represented a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties attending it. Zambia pledged to fight the effects of climate change by signing the Paris Agreement when President Lungu appended Zambia’s Signature to the historic Paris Agreement in September 2016 at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.

MarrakeCh COP 22

In November 2016, negotiators from more than 150 countries (including Zambia) convened in Marrakech; Morocco, for the 22nd Conference of Parties, (COP22) to discuss and showcase progress and begin the important process of turning the UN’s Paris Agreement into a detailed blueprint for action. The Marrakech Action Proclamation, issued by Heads of State and government gathered at the COP 22. It was widely seen as a reaffirmation of global commitment to the Paris Agreement. Further, a new fund to encourage transparency efforts was established and given a $50m injection of cash from countries including Australia, Canada and Germany. To this effect, Zambia needs to continuously seek out opportunities for international funding available for climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes.

The National Climate Change Policy (NPCC)

The Government of the Republic of Zambia recently launched the National Policy on Climate Change and PMRC welcomes this development, as it has been long overdue. PMRC notes that the formulation of the National Policy on Climate Change is based on mitigating the threats posed by climate change to the development process including attainment of the Vision 2030. Most importantly we note also that the policy provides guidance on how the Zambian economy can grow in a sustainable manner and compliment the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan. We further believe that this Policy on Climate Change will promote coordination of all adaptation and mitigation measures towards combating climate change.

Insight into the National Policy on Climate Change

The Vision of the National Policy on Climate Change is “A prosperous and climate resilient economy by 2030”. We note also that the rationale for formulating the NPCC is to establish a coordinated national response to climate change; as previously, climate change issues have been addressed in a fragmented manner using various sectoral policies, strategies and plans and these have had limited overall effect.

The overall objective of the Policy is to provide a framework for coordinating climate change programmes in order to ensure climate resilient and low carbon development pathways for sustainable development towards the attainment of Zambia’s Vision 2030.

Specific objectives

  • To promote and strengthen the implementation of adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures to reduce vulnerability to climate variability and change;
  • To promote and implement sustainable land-use management practices in order to contribute to reducing Green House Gases (GHG) emissions from land use and land use change and forestry;
  • To promote mainstreaming of climate change into policies, plans and strategies at all levels in order to account for Climate Change risks and opportunities in decision making and implementation;
  • To strengthen the institutional and human resource capacity in order to effectively and efficiently address all aspects of climate change at international, national, provincial, district and local levels;
  • To promote communication and dissemination of climate change information to enhance awareness and understanding of its impacts;
  • To promote investments in climate resilient and low carbon development pathways in order to generate co-benefits and provide incentives for addressing climate change more effectively;
  • To foster research and development in order to improve understanding and decision making in responding to climate change;
  • To engender Climate Change programmes and activities in order to enhance gender equality and equity in the implementation of climate change programmes

Climate Change Department

As PMRC, we further applaud the establishment of the Climate Change Department. This department was established under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in order to facilitate effective implementation of NPCC. Further, for purposes of coordination, overall oversight and mainstreaming of climate change in national development planning processes, this Department will closely collaborate with the Ministry responsible for National Development Planning.


Moving forward, we note that having of this National Policy on Climate Change is an important development, which presents the country with a well-structured national strategy to respond more effectively to the adverse effects of climate change. We note that the structure and implementation arrangements will ensure effective delivery of efforts to mitigate climate change. The policy will also promote stronger collaboration between various ministries and institutions that have a critical role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The mainstreaming further ensures coherence between the recently developed Seventh National Development Plan and all climate change programmes. We believe that this multi-sectoral collaborative approach is critical for success in implementing programmes because it requires coordination through a defined institutional framework. Further we note that the policy will support and facilitate a coordinated response to climate change by re-aligning its climate sensitive sectors of the economy and society. The policy provides stakeholders with a clearer framework on how to tackle climate change in Zambia. With a policy in place, duplication of efforts and time wasting would not arise because of the integrated approach.

Having launched the National Policy on Climate Change, the next steps for Government as custodians is to ensure that all players and stakeholders critical to the implementation are consistent in their delivery. Further, to ensure success, a monitoring and evaluation mechanism must be put in place with clearly defined key performance indicators that can serve as a guide to asses the state of implementation and success. What is next after having this policy is to ensure that cooperating partners and other stakeholders are consistent in implementing the policy. There is need to ensure that adequate provision of resources for climate change initiatives are available.


PMRC pledges to support all government efforts in evaluating and responding to Zambia’s needs to fight climate change based on evidence. PMRC remains supportive of highly feasible plans to reduce global emissions and build climate resilience for the immediate and future benefit of our generations. Government must further enhance efforts towards communication and dissemination of climate change information so as to increase awareness and understanding of interventions, programmes, opportunities and impacts. The fight against climate change concerns all citizens of the country and to this effect; there should be information available on the roles that citizens need to play in order to look after the environment. Furthermore, PMRC welcomes the launch of the National Policy on Climate Change as it is envisaged to provide a framework that will allow the implementation of existing, and future initiatives and opportunities in a more coordinated manner, while providing a long-term vision to achieve sustainable development.