Lusaka, April 17, 2019, ZANIS---Government has assured the International community of its commitment to advance human capital development by empowering its people with economic opportunities through social safety nets.

Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme says government prioritizes social safety nets as adopted in the Seventh National Development Plan.

Mr Chiteme emphasised that social safety nets advance economic opportunities for various national groups.

The Minister said this in Washington DC, in a speech read on his behalf by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary in charge of Development Planning Chola Chabala.

This was during the 8th Annual Ministerial Round-table on Social Safety Nets dubbed,” Improving economic opportunities and human capital in changing world of work, at the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr Chiteme however expressed concern over the widening gap between the labour market demand and the training.

Meanwhile, speaking at the UN and World Bank co-organised Ministerial meeting on strengthening Resilience to debt vulnerability in the Least Developed Countries, Mr Chiteme said striking the right balance between development financing and containing debt vulnerability needs an international multifaceted framework.

He noted that drivers of debt can be attributed to global and country-specific factors.

Mr Chiteme blamed the trade wars between the west and east countries, which was forcing African countries to borrow and invest the money on financing infrastructures. 

“We need to provide health facilities, safe drinking water, educate our people, etc,  but for us to do this we need financing. We are not borrowing to consume but to invest in our infrastructure and empower our people and enable them have a decent life,” Mr. Chiteme said.

The Minister called for sustainable financing from developed countries to enable developing countries like Zambia to achieve her objectives set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This is contained in a press statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today by Ministry of National Development Planning Spokesperson, Chibaula Silwamba.