Message from the President
We, the people of Zambia, have always achieved unity of purpose. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Zambians of all ethnicities united in delivering political independence. In the early 1990s, Zambians again joined hands in delivering multiparty politics and more democratic society. In 2005, we united and embarked on a long-term dream, The Vision 2030, to become “A Prosperous Middle-Income Nation by the Year 2030”. In our goal, we committed to sustain high rates of economic growth and significantly reduce poverty. With much sacrifice and effort by the Zambian people, we attained macroeconomic stability and economic growth by 2011, earning a reclassification to Lower Middle-Income Country status.
Since 2011, our economic fortunes have dissipated, and economic growth has decreased from over seven percent recorded in 2010 to less than two percent currently. The country’s debt has once again skyrocketed to unsustainable levels. Consequently, the high level of debt service has reduced the capacity to make critical investments in health, education, and infrastructure as well as dismantle outstanding payments to creditors, both local and foreign, including pensioners. Also, high unemployment levels have become the norm. While lower copper prices and frequent bouts of climate-related droughts have weighed down performance, Zambians know that lack of visionary leadership, corruption, and political patronage in the public service, are the main reasons for their struggles.
We, as a people, have this historic opportunity, to use the power of our vote in 2021 to change our country and create a united and prosperous Zambia with equal opportunities across ethnic, religious, regional, generational, and gender considerations, living in harmony and in a free democratic society. We also commit to addressing the issues of inequitable distribution of wealth where 90.0 percent of the country’s wealth is held by 10.0 percent of the population; uneven allocation of resources between urban and rural areas. Through our vote, we can usher in an era of good governance and prudent economic management that will foster accelerated national development and empowerment for every citizen through sustainable use of our vast human and natural resources.
The country, now more than ever before, needs visionary leadership and economic management skills for development and social progress. The United Party for National Development (UPND) commits to work tirelessly to realize the dream of a prosperous Zambia anchored on mutual understanding, love, and national unity for speedy economic and social development, with a targeted economic growth rate of 10.0 percent per year for us to achieve the Vision 2030. We will take positive and transparent steps to implement an ambitious economic and social transformation to move Zambia forward and achieve overall poverty reduction within a decade.
This manifesto reflects how, with your participation, we can make this vision a reality and demonstrate to the world that our best years as a Nation are within our reach. The manifesto has benefited from the views of a broad spectrum of ordinary citizens across our society, including the youth and women, miners, farmers, marketers, economic, social, and security sector experts, to mention but a few. We are most grateful to them for sharing their wisdom and dreams for the future. They can rest assured that through our collective effort, we can realize a united and prosperous Zambia – Yes, Together We Can.
Hakainde Hichilema PRESIDENT