Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu says his honeymoon is short as the terms of reference given to him by President Edgar Lungu to stabilize and grow the economy offer limited room for delay.
Speaking when he met Cooperating Partners Group [CPG], Tuesday, Dr Ng’andu said the need for action was immediate.
“Hard work is beckoning, the need for action is immediate, my honeymoon is short and my Ministry will require your unfettered support to push policy implementation and get work done,” Dr Ng’andu told the Cooperating Partners Group, during a courtesy meeting held at the Ministry of Finance.
The Minister took the opportunity to assure cooperating partners’ delegation that Zambian valued the relationships that it had with all stakeholders and “is therefore keen to strengthen existing ties through various development platforms.”
Dr Ng’andu pledged to meet all the partners individually in order to reach common ground on areas that need attention “in order to stimulate faster implementation of development programmes.”
Meanwhile, the cooperating partners restated their commitment to support the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan. The CPG delegation reaffirmed their support towards building a strong partnership with the Zambian Government.
Speaking as Chair of the group, German Head of Development Cooperation CHRISTOPH FRITZ said the expressed assurance of the Zambian Government to implement austerity measures was a very important message to the international community as it demonstrates the resolve of the authorities in taking corrective measures in the country’s progression towards fiscal health.
The CPG also encouraged the Minister of Finance to continue with the country’s efforts towards acquisition of an IMF Supported Economic Programme in order to expand the financing options available to Zambia by way of support from other cooperating partners.
Among the other issues discussed in the courtesy meeting were debt management, financial governance, private sector development, value for money, public investments, protection of social spending, and drought responsiveness.