Now we are in the official campaign season our intention as UPND is to talk a lot more about our plan for Zambia and what solutions we are offering to the challenges we face as a nation.What we are proposing is captured in our 10 Point Plan for Zambia. We will be launching the plan officially in the coming days and we believe it contains much for Zambians to be excited about, particularly our youths.
Our plan starts with jobs. We are going to both create demand for workers by breathing new life into the economy and we are going to invest in our people so that we educate and empower young Zambians to find work or start out in business.
Value-addition efforts are going to be central to our plan for job creation. Why import cereal when we produce maize? Why import tomato paste when we grow tomatoes? Why import canned fish when we farm fish at home? Can we not make these things in Zambia and then create jobs for our people in the process, as well as keeping prices lower? To make this happen requires vision, a business friendly Government and hard work. The UPND believes it offers this combination.
Employing only through Government is not sustainable. It just increases the wage bill further without growing the national cake. That is why our approach will be to support local business by reducing the number of processes and permits required for key activities and opening up access to finance because current interest rates are far too high.
In terms of youth empowerment we are proposing vocational training schemes to equip young Zambians with practical skills, as well as on-the-job training schemes and programmes in business management for start-ups.
It’s going to take energy, determination and our shared strength to deliver on our plan but the opportunity is there and we are ready to seize it.