President Edgar Lungu says 2018 has ended on a good note because the performance of the economy has continued to be favorable.

And President Lungu says people had been able to access financial and technical support to engage in economic activities through various empowerment programmes implemented by government and other stakeholders.

In his end of year statement, President Lungu said government had successfully showcased the country’s investment potential to the world through investment expositions in Central, Luapula and Northern Provinces.

“Looking back at 2018, the overall performance of our economy continued to be favorable, supported by our collective and positive contributions. We had stable electricity supply, relatively stable exchange rate and the single digit inflation rate, which were some of the factors that contributed to the positive performance of the economy. In 2018, we successfully showcased our investment potential to the world through the holding of investment expositions in central and Northern provinces. I am confident that these expositions will result in increased investments, as well as job and wealth creation for our citizens. Investment expositions will, therefore, be replicated in other provinces in 2019,” President Lungu said.

He also stated that government and other stakeholders managed to give financial and technical support for people to engage in economic activities.

“We also continued to implement various infrastructure projects in agriculture, water and sanitation, health, education, energy, housing, and transport and communications among others. Further, our people were able to access financial and technical support to engage in economic activities through various empowerment programmes implemented by government and other stakeholders. We are up-scaling the application of smart technologies and streamlining business processes in order to reduce costs, as well as improve productivity and provision of quality services. I am positive that these measures will improve the lives and welfare of our people. In this regard, we will continue to ensure that development is taken to all parts of the country,” President Lungu further stated.

He stated that the country also experienced improved political atmosphere among political players.

“In 2018, we experienced an improved political atmosphere among political players. I wish to therefore thank all stakeholders who moved towards embracing one another and thereby contributed to deepening democratic tenets. In 2019, we all have a responsibility to build on these efforts to make Zambia a safe and secure place for all. The gains recorded in 2018 must give us more impetus to do even better in the coming year. The responsibility rests on our shoulders as patriotic citizens to strive harder to make 2019, a year we can all be proud of. Despite the country having recorded some successes in 2018, a lot still needs to be done to achieve prosperity for all. We need to boost productivity at all levels. Our people, especially the youth, must seize every opportunity to engage in more rewarding, innovative and productive ventures,” the Head of State observed.

President Lungu urged citizens to desist from engaging in bad vices.

“To this end, I urge all citizens to desist from engaging in vices such as gender-based violence, examination malpractices, misuse of social media, as well as alcohol and substance abuse. Concerted effort, is, therefore, required to enhance integrity and ethics, and uphold good morals and human dignity in order to foster the desired societal transformation. A morally bankrupt society is a hindrance to national development. As we enter the New Year, let us do so with hearts of gratitude to the lord god almighty, who has made it possible for us to witness this momentous occasion. Let us renew our hope for better things to come. Let us transition to 2019 with optimism, renewed commitment and dedication to hard work. Let us embrace a positive mindset in the way we do things. My wish for the New Year is that every Zambian should be optimistic and continue building on the progress we recorded in 2018,” President Lungu stated.

He urged citizens to use their words to build each other and not to destroy in this New Year.

“Through our collective strength, resources, capabilities and hard work, we will indeed achieve our national aspirations, without leaving anyone behind. In the spirit of one Zambia, one nation, let us build on the efforts of all stakeholders towards continued peace and unity in our country. In 2019, let us use our words and deeds not to destroy, but to build and promote a positive image of our country. The bible in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 29 encourages us to use our words constructively when it says and I quote: ‘do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.’ End of quote. Let the call to national duty be louder and more urgent to each and every one of us. Let us all endeavor to make a positive contribution and share each other’s burdens to the best of our ability,” stated President Lungu.