Zambia says sustainable trade, infrastructure development, gender equality and empowerment, peace, health and education are among key prerequisites to the development of Africa.
Zambia made the remarks at the just-concluded Africa-week joint debate on New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), focusing on the progress in implementation and international support as well as on the decade to roll back malaria in developing countries, particularly in Africa.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Assistant Director (International Organisations), Mr. Eliphas Chinyonga said Zambia welcomed the programme for infrastructure development in Africa that NEPAD developed, focusing on transformative regional projects.
“Out of the priority Regional Infrastructure projects identified, Zambia is likely to benefit directly from those that are located or pass through the borders. These include Serenje–Nakonde Road with the total length of 614.71km; Lusaka-Lilongwe ICT Terrestrial Fiber Optic; Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Transmission Line; and Batoka Gorge Hydro Power Project,” said Mr. Chinyonga at the UN General Assembly meeting. “I am pleased to report that Zambia developed a compendium of climate oriented agriculture technologies in all three of its agro ecological regions. This was facilitated through the support from the NEPAD Climate Change Fund for mainstreaming Climate Smart Agriculture into the National Agriculture Investment Plan.”
He said Zambia is committed to promoting human capital development.
In this regard, Mr. Chinyonga said Zambia will continue to improve the teaching of science and mathematics, which are critical to attaining improvements in technology and innovation for enhanced industrialisation and job creation.
Mr. Chinyonga also said Zambia was focusing on reducing malaria related deaths countrywide and hoped to achieve a malaria-free Zambia by 2020.
Mr. Chinyonga said, so far, malaria prevalence and deaths have steadily decreased, culminating in an impressive 55 percent reduction in all cases of child mortality.
On gender equality and women empowerment, Mr. Chinyonga informed the global body that Zambia enacted the Gender Equity and Equality Act No. 22 of 2015, which has fully domesticated major international and regional instruments including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
However, Mr. Chinyonga expressed Zambia’s concern that the process of integrating NEPAD into the African Union structures and processes has been slow, despite the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Agency working towards concluding the matter.
“It is our view that international support to facilitate the inclusion of realistic timelines for concluding the matter would be useful,” said Mr. Chinyonga. “Notwithstanding the foregoing, Zambia still remains fully committed to ensuring that the priority areas of energy, industrialisation, intra-regional trade, food security, health, education, gender equality and adaptation to climate change are fast tracked under NEPAD.”