President Rupiah Banda says Zambia has made tremendous progress in embracing the spirit of dialoguing as one of the vital steps to enhancing social economic development in the country.
He said Zambia would continue pursuing the spirit of dialogue introduced by the Smart Partnership Movement so as to enhance its own socio-economic development agenda.
Dialoguing was introduced by the Smart Partnership Movement in 1995 to help commonwealth member states find solutions to challenges facing their respective countries.
The President said the country had held a number of conferences to bring together stakeholders from different backgrounds to discuss and find solutions to the challenges facing the country.
Speaking last night at a cocktail party held at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort in Kampala, the President said Zambia would also continue involving all relevant stakeholders in key programmes aimed at achieving socio-economic development.
He was giving an account of Zambia’s achievements since the Smart Partnership dialogue held at Mulungushi in Lusaka last year.
President Banda cited the hosting of the national indaba and Zambia international business advisory council. He said Zambia had also co-hosted the first financial inclusion advisors’ programme from 6 th to 9 th April 2009 with the central bank of Malaysia in collaboration with the Smart Partnership Movement.
“We are involving all relevant stakeholders in key programmes. However, the challenges we face is limited capacity to implement the progrmames in full,” he told over 500 international delegates who included the host Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, King Mswati III of Swaziland. Others were and Malaysian Prime minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib. Former heads of state from Mozambique and Bostwana, Jacquim Chissano and Sir Ketumile Masire were also in attendance.,Yahya AJJ Jammeh of Gambia,
President Banda who last night handed over the chairmanship of the Smart Partnership Movement to his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni said Zambia would further build on what had done so far in order to further entrench its national development objectives.
He said Zambia had also started the dialogue aimed at enhancing regional integration and trade within the region and beyond citing the tripartite COMESA East African Community and summits held in Zimbabwe.
President Banda said Zambia had also embarked on programmes of developing its energy, information communication and technology sectors.
President has said government will create a conducive environment for microfinance services and reduce the cost of doing business in Zambia.
He stated the country would also invest in human resource development through education and health and also try achieving change of mindset towards national development goals among its nationals.
The three days Smart Partnership Movement Dialogue which opened in thecapital yesterday is being held under the theme ‘Towards smarter globe-The Smart Partnership Way for realizing socio-economic transformation through regional integration.’
President Banda is today expected to continue brainstorming with other heads of state and government on developmental challenges affecting Africa and other during ‘think-tank’ discussion sessions.
He will later in the day witness the lauch of the African Smart Partnership peace hub.