THE zero draft of the Seventh National Development Plan has been prepared and is currently being edited in readiness for validation, Minister of National Development Planning Lucky Mulusa has announced.
Mr Mulusa said planners from all sectors were meeting to jointly review the programmes and projects contained in the draft document and how they were contributing to meeting the strategic focus.
Updating Parliament yesterday, Mr Mulusa said the plan was expected to meet key development outcomes such as reducing poverty and vulnerability, reducing development inequalities, improving governance environment, enhancing human development and directly take measures to enhance economic diversification.
“These outcomes once met are expected to meet the key criteria required for Zambia to graduate from being a least developed country to moving towards being a prosperous middle income country. Zambia has so far met one criteria regarding income graduation threshold having a per capita Gross National Income of US$ 1, 327 against a threshold of US$1, 242,” Mr Mulusa said.
Mr Mulusa said it was Government’s endeavour to reduce the paradox of high poverty levels against a rich-resource country in the Seventh National Development Plan
He said it still remained inconceivable that Zambia which, was endowed with mineral resources, wildlife, rivers, good soil, flora and fauna, yet the economy was characterised by low industrialisation, low beneficiation from the rich natural resources, weak diversification and
high levels of unemployment resulting in the high level of poverty.
Mr Mulusa said there was need to stimulate the contribution of sectors where Zambia had comparative advantage to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) such as agriculture, mining and tourism with a view to accelerate growth and development.