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My honeymoon is short – Bwalya Ng’andu

By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu says his job honeymoon is short as the terms of reference given to him by the Republican President to stabilize and grow the economy offer limited room for delay.

Mr Ng’andu said hard work is beckoning, the need for action is immediate, his Ministry will require unfettered support to push policy implementation and get work done.

He told the Cooperating Partners Group [CPG], during a courtesy meeting held at the Ministry of Finance, yesterday.

The Minister took the opportunity to assure the cooperating partners delegation that the Zambian Government values the relationships that it has with all stakeholders.

Dr Ng’andu said it was keen to strengthen existing ties through various development platforms.

He pledged to meet all the partners individually in order to reach common ground on areas that need attention “in order to stimulate faster implementation of development programmes.

Meanwhile, the Cooperating Partners have restated their commitment to support the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan. The CPG delegation has reaffirmed their support towards building a strong partnership with the Zambian Government.

Speaking as Chair of the Cooperating Partners Group [CPG], German Head of Development Cooperation Christoph Fritz said the expressed assurance of the Zambian Government to implement austerity measures is a very important message to the international community as it demonstrates the resolve of the authorities in taking corrective measures in the country’s progression towards fiscal health.

The CPG also encouraged the Minister of Finance to continue with the country’s efforts towards acquisition of an IMF Supported Economic Programme in order to expand the financing options available to Zambia by way of support from other cooperating partners.

Among the other issues discussed in the courtesy meeting were debt management, financial governance, private sector development, value for money public investments, protection of social spending, and drought responsiveness. Further, the cooperating partners listed the e-voucher programme and the economic stabilisation and growth reforms among the issues that need the closer attention of the Zambian Government.

Contributing to the proceedings, African Development Bank Country Manager MARY MONYAU announced the banks approval of a support package that will help Zambia with capacity improvement in domestic resource mobilisation and debt management while her World Bank counterpart Ina Marie Ruthenberg took the opportunity to bid farewell, stating that, 31st July, 2019, was her last day of duty.

During the meeting, the two parties agreed on the need for the Zambian Government to develop an action matrix that will help stakeholders to track progress in the implementation of socio-economic policies and reforms in key areas such as agriculture, energy and food security.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Ministry Of Finance Spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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