The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Zambia to align the country’s industrial policy with other regional trading blocs on the continent

Zambian Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa recently organized a workshop to review the outcomes of the implementation of Zambia’s National Industrial Policy.

The 2018-2027 Zambian Industrial Policy review also sets state for validation of the Implementation Plan for the follow-up National Industrial Policy (2024-2027).

The review ascertained the extent to which the policy has been deployed, identified successes, challenges and how these can inform the calibration of the implementation plan for the remainder of the life of the policy.

The support to Zambia is part of technical assistance towards accelerating industrialization in Southern Africa under the United Nations Development Account 12th Tranche-funded project.

Under this initiative, ECA commissioned a study to assess the implementation of the Zambia National Industrial Policy and alignment with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) industrialization policies and strategies.

It also sought to develop an implementation plan for the ZNIP for the period 2024-2027.

The workshop drew experts from MCTI, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock; and key stakeholders including Zambia Bureau of Standards, Centre for Trade Policy and Development, National Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research.

There was also the Zambia Statistics Agency, Patents and Companies Registration Agency, Business Regulatory Review Agency, Zambia Association of Manufacturers, Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zambia Development Agency, Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission, Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency, Zambia Metrology Agency, Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, TEVETA Technical and Vocational Training Center and the University of Zambia.

Mrs Nalituba C. Mwale, Acting Permanent Secretary, MCTI, officially opened the meeting and commended ECA for being a valuable partner and stakeholder of the Government of the Republic of Zambia in promoting the growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, and in contributing to the socio-economic growth and transformation of the country.

She highlighted the importance of the National Industrial Policy as a blueprint for industrialization premised on the aspirations of the Country’s Vision 2030 which aims at transforming Zambia into a prosperous middle-income economy by 2030.

Mrs. Mwale called upon all stakeholders present to critically analyse the findings of the Mid-Term Review and use the lessons to inform the drafting of the Implementation Plan for the remainder of the life of the policy.

“Your input is vital to ensure that the implementation of the National Industrial Policy generates the intended results of transforming Zambia from a producer and exporter of primary products into a net exporter of competitive value-added goods, produced with increased citizens’ participation”.

The remarks by ECA SRO-SA were delivered by Ms. Olayinka Bandele, Chief, Inclusive Industrialization on behalf of the Director, Ms. Eunice Kamwendo.

She indicated that reviewing the National Industrial Policy was essential to align it with Zambia’s unique needs and opportunities, ensuring a strategic and coordinated approach to industrialization and that the mid-term review of the ZNIP for Zambia was critical in the context of the opportunities from the African Continental Free Trade Area, which the country has ratified and prepared the attendant national strategy.

She emphasised the importance of industrialisation in diversifying the country’s economic base; create jobs and address youth unemployment; reduce poverty and inequality; facilitate green transitions and strengthen food systems.

“The vision is to transform Zambia and promote industrial development agenda focused on growth, diversification, upgrading of industrial capacity, and enhancing competitiveness of the nation’s manufacturing sector, as well as the promotion of quality infrastructure to support industrialization was imperative,” she noted.

Kamwendo underscored that review was critical as it allowed for adjustment of the new plan to implement the policy to accommodate other emerging issues including the AfCFTA and green industrialization.

The draft Report on the Mid-Term Assessment of the implementation of Zambia’s (2018-2027) National Industrial Policy (ZNIP) was presented by  Dr. William  Mbuta, ECA Consultant who highlighted that ZNIP was an essential tool for stakeholders to be part of the industrial transformation, moving the country from being  a producer to  exporter of value-added goods.

His presentation was followed by a plenary discussion that allowed stakeholders to provide insights into the implementation of the first five years of the National Industrial Policy.

The second day of the workshop focused on reviewing and validating the Draft Implementation Plan for National Industrial Policy covering the period 2024-2027.

The plan provides direction on the implementation of the policy, outlines strategies and activities and elaborates on attendant budgets for delivery, nominates champions and outlines the specific implementation milestones for stakeholders.

The plan elaborates on a monitoring and evaluation framework to anchor the periodic assessment of the plan’s implementation.

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