Lusaka ~ Sat, 10 April 2021

By Brightwell Chabusha

President Edgar Lungu says what puts a smile on his face is to see the determination by the Zambians to work hard so that they put food on the table.

Opening the PF virtual conference today, President Lungu said the need to create jobs for the people was undeniable.

“I was given a five-year mandate as president of the republic of Zambia. My promise to the Zambian people was socio economic diversification, poverty reduction, and promotion of meaningful participation of Zambians in their economy, as entrepreneurs and workers. countrymen and women, five years down the line what puts a smile on my face when i drive around the country is the determination by our people to work hard so that they put food on the table,” he said. “That ambition to register a company so that they do not remain employees but actually become an employer, innovation by young graduates who cannot be absorbed by the industry to create their own companies. the hard work by Zambian contractors, working side by side with foreign contractors and gaining skills apart from employing fellow Zambians. that determination to work hard puts a smile on my face because it brings rewards to these hard-working people.”

President Lungu said the government has absolved a lot of young people in various sectors but still a lot of young people remain unabsolved.

“The need to create jobs for our people is undeniable, and my government has absorbed a huge number of our young people in the defence forces, the health sector, the teaching service and other civil service departments but still a long list of our young people remain unabsorbed. government, on the other hand, cannot absorb all our people. this is why more investment is needed in manufacturing so that factories create more jobs for our people. I have had many meetings with businessmen and women and i have been encouraging them to build capacity to employ more of our people. I say this with the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on business on my mind. Arguably the impact of the pandemic on business is huge and both conglomerates, and small and medium enterprises have been badly affected. while i worry about the impact of the pandemic on conglomerates, i even commiserate more with that taxi driver whose lack of business has a direct impact on his household,” he said.

President Lungu said government’s move not to allow for a lockdown saved businesses.

“My decision to tweak the covid-19 pandemic rules, open businesses, to allow business to recover. against fears that we needed to lockdown the country the moment covid-19 engulfed our country, i resisted the thought and that saved business. It could have been worse. our friends in the opposition criticised our position, but we saved business. today my government is praised even by our neighbours for the position we took,” he said.

President Lungu said the aspirations of government is universal health coverage where all the people have access to quality, affordable and cost-effective health care services without suffering financial hardships.

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