Dear President Hichilema,
I took time to listen to the manifesto presentation that was delivered by the UPND team yesterday. As a person with an economist background, I was particularly interested in listening to what Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane had to say, since he is the man in charge of economic policy.
I was delighted to learn that Dr Musokotwane and his team, had spent years studying the Asian Tigers, particularly Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore with the intention to model Zambia on the same premise. His presentation was a breath of fresh air.
Among the takeaways for me were the confidence that the UPND would have among Zambia’s lenders. This is crucial for us to negotiate better terms on our current indebtedness.
Zambia’s debts have crippled this economy.
We are unable to service crucial sectors of our economy due to the stranglehold that our repayments have on us.
From 1991 to date, we have lacked a serious thought process to address our issues. Serious problems require serious thinking, burning the midnight oil until solutions are found. Unfortunately, our economy has been handled with such a casual attitude, to a point where even the leader general shockingly said Zambians are doing fine.
Sir, the manifesto released yesterday, showed a resolute conviction and bold focus to deliver a better Zambia. I noted the following:
==>Copper output from the current 800, 000 MT to 3 million MT are bold steps that shows seriousness. This will bring the much needed forex.
==> 4 million jobs within 10 years is another impressive focus. The youth are currently deflated due to lack of jobs. This would fill the void and spur a happier and healthier citizenry.
==> Boost manufacturing by 15% within 5 years and by 25% in 10 years. We have struggled as a country in this area for years. Finally there is a plan in place.
==> A wholistic approach to agriculture, revamping extension services, access to cheaper, loans, cheaper fertilizer, farming implements including livestock provision. All this to establish Zambia as a food basket in the region.
==> To become an exporter of agro produce to DRC, Angola, Botswana etc.
==> Youth, women and people with disabilities. Transformation through establishment of Zambia Enterprise Development and free education. This would address the disillusionment currently being experienced in the country.
Sir, the energy sector and tourism have also been adequately addressed to end load shedding for good and to open up Zambia as a tourist destination respectively.
One other major aspect to me is the 100% distribution of water to both urban and rural areas in 10 years. This would bring us at par with Botswana which has managed piped water even in villages, despite it being in a semi arid area.
I am more than confident sir that you will deliver for the Zambian people. People who are thoroughly prepared for a journey are more likely to reach their destination. The UPND is ready.
Bravo to you sir, I look forward to the UPND government.