EAZ post Covid-19 summit on cards
Written by millennium on April 13, 2021
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE second edition of the National Economic Summit (NES) which aims to provide ideas on the country’s fortunes post Covid-19 will be held in July this year by the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) in Livingstone.
The first edition of the summit was held in 2019 in Livingstone.
Stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the 2021 summit as efforts were being put in place to build back the Economy Post Covid-9, says EAZ President Lubinda Haabazoka.
Dr Haabazoka said in a statement that this year’s summit would be held under the theme: Promoting Economic Resilience and Sustainability Post Covid-19 Pandemic (PERSP).
EAZ, he said, acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic had eroded growth and above all amplified fiscal fragilities due to record spending in health care, to save lives, at the expense of investing in real sectors of the economy.
He explained that among the topics to be discussed at the summit would include attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change.
“EAZ will provide a platform for economic discourse in order to achieve amicable consensus among players to ensure corporates are armed with the required tools to drive growth,” Dr Haabazoka said.
He said EAZ remained optimistic that sustainable recovery could only be private sector led, post the pandemic amidst economic hurdles occasioned by rising inflation, currency depreciation, suppressed business pulse and waning investor sentiment.
Dr Haabazoka recalled that Zambia’s steepest recession was recorded in 2020 when the economy contracted by 2.6 percent.
“In this vain, the EAZ will not only partner with the Government to actualize the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) but will also seek to stimulate private sector participation to enhance economic development.
“The Association does acknowledge that for the private sector to effectively drive Zambia’s ‘V’ shaped recovery and contribute to sustainable growth, a conducive operating environment and trade-offs with the public sector will be eminent,” he said.
Dr Haabazoka also a number of interventions proposed at the Inaugural 2019 National Economic Summit had been implemented by both Government and the private sector.
He explained that the most important among such interventions implemented is the commencement of the stockpiling of gold by the Bank of Zambia for the first time in more than three decades.
Dr Haabazoka explained that this particular intervention translated into the Zambian Government safeguarding mineral resources for future generations.
“As gold reserves continue to grow, our international financial position also improves. Against this backdrop, the EAZ would like to commend Government for this historic bold decision.
“We call upon Government to also consider stockpiling minerals such as copper, cobalt and manganese alongside gold. Forecasts indicate that prices for these metals will continue to rise as the world moves towards electronic vehicles,” he said.