As His Excellency the President Mr. Edgar Lungu officially opens the 4th Session of the 12th National Assembly, The Policy Monitoring and Research Centre hereby provides the following as our expectations to inform the address to the National Assembly and the country at large.
The following are our expectations:
- A call for unity in South Africa and the SADC region in general as we build towards implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area. Further, an emphasis for all citizens to continue upholding national values and ethics.
- Energy Deficit: updates on immediate interventions and resolutions with regards to what is being done to address the power shortages and, also, road map on the status of diversifying our energy sources.
- Updates on key policy decisions that have been recently postponed: (a) The National Airline – what is the progress and when will it be fully launched? (b) The Sales Tax: what is the way forward for Zambia? Emphasis on more research and refinement. (c) An update on the status of the National Health Insurance Scheme, especially as it relates to universal health for all.
- Updates on how the country is fairing on the implementation of the 7th National Development Plan and also a call for more commitment to ensure enhanced implementation of the Plan.
- The current macro-economic situation, economic diversification interventions and job creation, poverty and vulnerability reduction, as well as reducing developmental inequalities.
- Aspects of a conducive business environment by giving a position on the interest rates and also measures being undertaken by the Government to promote access to finance, especially by the rural community.
- Updates on the implementation of the e-Voucher and the Social Cash Transfer as well as the performance of other empowerment facilities such as the women and youth empowerment programmes.
- Updates on what Government is doing to ensure a speedy return to low risk of debt distress and maintaining the debt within sustainable levels.
- In the agriculture sector, we expect the address to highlight interventions that will focus on increasing agricultural production, stepping up the agricultural diversification programme and improving food security and nutrition.
- Critical under the mining sector, interventions aimed at promoting value-addition in the sector in a bid to create backward and forward linkages with other sectors of the economy.
- Trade policy and how it is fairing. What steps has Zambia taken so far to be ready for the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)?
- Enhancement of the industrial clusters and establishment of more youth centres to promote innovation and growth. In the same aspect, the President should also provide updates on the Local Content Policy and any development that have been recorded.
- A call to the private sector to partner much more with the Government and ease treasury spending.
- Further call on ministries to enhance working collaborations with policy and research institutions and together collaborate on key development targets as outlined in the National Development Plan.
- Overall, policy updates, building on from the mid-year Economic Brief by the Ministry of Finance.