MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
ZAMBIA has been selected by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as one of the 60 pilot countries for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Accelerator Labs, an innovative initiative which is expected to contribute to achievement of the SDGs.
This is according to a statement made available to The Sun by Ministry of National Development and Planning spokesperson Chibaula Silwamba.
This came light when the Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme, paid a courtesy on UNDP’s new director for the regional bureau for Africa (RBA), Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, on the sidelines of the Third International Conference on the Emergence of Africa (ICEA) in Dakar, Senegal.
Ms. Eziakonwa assured Mr Chiteme of UNDP’s continued support towards Zambia’s development agenda.
Ms. Eziakonwa commended Zambia for its political stability in the region, which was an asset in development.
In line with the theme of the 2019 International Conference on Emergence of Africa, Ms. Eziakonwa acknowledged that Zambia was among the first few countries to promote local content strategies for private sector development.
The UNDP regional chief emphasised the need to grow local entrepreneurs into national champions, including creating an enabling environment for youth participation in private sector development.
Meanwhile Mr Chiteme congratulated Ms. Eziakonwa on her appointment and called for continued collaboration between Zambia and UNDP.
The Minister informed Ms. Eziakonwa that, as a lower middle-income country, Zambia’s macroeconomic situation is improving, with the 2018 economic growth estimated at 4 per cent from a low 2.9 per cent in 2015.
“Inflation has been contained within the 6 per cent to 8 percent target range, closing the year 2018 at 7.9 per cent from the high levels of 22 per cent in February 2016,’’ Mr Chiteme said.
The minister further told the UNDP Director for the Regional Bureau for Africa that Zambia was implementing its 7th National Development Plan (7NDP).
He underscored the fact that the Plan had mainstreamed the SDGs up to 86 percent alignment.
Mr Chiteme called on the UNDP for continued support and collaboration in the implementation of the 7th National Development Plan(7NDP), and Social Developmental Goals (SDG), strengthening national capacities in monitoring and reporting systems, including formulation of the Zambia SDG Baseline Report.