Commentaries and Analyses: year 2004 Index

Opinion: Economic Empowerment

LUSAKA, June 18 - It is a significant development for Zambia that foreign aid flow, both bilateral and multilateral is to resume. Essentially, a lifeline has once again been extended to the country.

Zambia's economy stands to receive a vital rejuvenating spark to re-start it on the growth path.

In these times when international money flows have become tighter with the conditions for accessing the cash made extra hard, it is a measure of Government's sincerity and sense of purpose and the goodwill of the donors that we have been given this chance.

The importance of this gesture from the major cooperating partners goes far and beyond the ordinary consideration of monetary and economic cooperation.

Economic empowerment is the very essence of the political process in any country.

It is feasible, as the situation is in Zambia now, that a democratic dispensation can be in place and becomes an entrenched tradition with all the guaranteed fundamental rights and privileges that come with it.

However, without economic empowerment, this state of affairs is rendered somewhat hollow.

The devastating effects of poverty manifested by hunger, disease and ignorance tend to work towards subtracting and undermining these same achievements.

Even those within our country clamouring at Government to grant them their wishes in fundamental areas like the constitutional process will be doing so in a vacuum if the people of Zambia are not economically empowered.

Donor aid flow to Zambia will be the main catalyst to restore economic empowerment to Zambians.

The money coming into the country is intended to revive economic activities like manufacturing, agriculture, mining and service delivery and thus create more jobs.

While thankful to the benefactors for their generosity, Zambians themselves have the onerous duty to see to it that the intended objective of this economic rescue are realised.

Underlining this pursuit will be fiscal discipline to ensure that every coin that enters the State treasury from the donors is utilised wisely.

The cooperating partners will not expect anything short of a transparent, well thought-out and prudent utilisation of the money to be given to Zambia.

Zambians will also need to work hard in all capacities in order to create a pool of effort, right attitude and goodwill to see to it that all development programmes contribute to putting the economy back on the rails.

It is equally gratifying that in addition to the financial aid flows, Zambia's cooperating partners like China have targeted investment in areas like manufacturing and power generation sectors.

This avenue for investment and economic cooperation offers so much promise for nascent economies like those of Zambia and deserves to be replicated by other cooperating partners.


The Times of Zambia / allAfrica Global Media

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Perspectives Files
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