President Edgar Lungu says Zambia’s life expectancy has increased by 43% while household income increased by 86% percent between 1995 to 2015.

In a speech read on his behalf by acting Transport and Communications Minister Lawrence Sichalwe at the Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) conference in Lusaka, Tuesday, President Lungu said the figures were a testimony that Zambia had potential to achieve sustainable development.

“My government continues towards enhancing efforts and adopting various sustainable measures aimed at improving the livelihood of our citizen. In the past two decades, Zambia has made strides in improving socio-economic indicators. From 1995 to 2015, life expectancy has increase in Zambia by 43% and household income has increased by 86%. These figures are a living testimony of not just the great potential Zambia hold for its people but projects the country’s exemplary position and commitment in achieving sustainable development. We are therefore, in view of that background, thankful that you have recognized Lusaka as a platform to share the recent development and success of the ICT4D,” President Lungu said.

He said ICT4D was a critical catalyst for economic development for Zambia especially in rural areas.

“The Seventh national development plan identifies ICT as a critical analyst for economic development, job creation and a driver of effective and inclusive public service thus it is one of the government priority areas. Not only does the seventh national development plan espouse diversification of the economy for sustainable growth, but it includes an implementation mechanism to measure performance and results for increased success. This is in line with vision 2030which seeks to transform the country into a digital economy without leaving anyone behind. Without a doubt. The 7NDP rest heavily on the innovative and overarching potential of ICTs,” said President Lungu.

“Whether be it educational resources, electronic health care records, or mobile financial services, ICT4D is a crucial tool in achieving the Sustainable development goals, which as most of you know include 17 global goals set by the United Nations to transform the world by 2030. As the number of mobile phone subscribers increases in Africa, the interconnectedness among people grows stronger, creating new opportunities and innovations for all. New GIS mapping technology, monitoring mechanism, and data management inventions are creating endless possibilities, generating sustainable growth and hope for a stronger future. But most importantly, a foundation of intelligent partnerships and positive teamwork’s makes ICT4d the triumph it has proven to be today. I see strong linkages between government, the development and international aid sector, and the private sector for the benefit of developing a solid ICT infrastructure. We can effectively use new technology innovations for Zambia’s economic development and the achievement of the sustainable development goals. Collaboration is essential for broad based and inclusive social and economic development. I am looking forward to seeing the strategies created by you at this year’s conference. With this talented audience of professionals, I have the utmost faith in your creative and diversity expertise to make this ICT4D conference the most successful collaboration to date.”