23 February 2013

Zambia: State Transforms Labour Ministry

GOVERNMENT has transformed the Ministry of Labour and Social Security from being a social Ministry into an economic one.

This is aimed at making it more responsive to the demands of labour and the economy, Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda has said.

Mr Shamenda said the re-grading was one of the measures that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government had taken to ensure that employment and labour market operated efficiently.

He was speaking in Livingstone on Thursday at the 36th Eastern, Central and Southern African Employers' Organisations (ECSAE) conference hosted by the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE).

The conference, which has attracted several delegates across Africa, is being held under the theme 'Enhancing the East, Central and Southern African business opportunities through promotion of Good Corporate Governance, Free Trade, Enabling legal framework and corrupt free environment.

"For the first time in the history of this country, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been elevated as an economic Ministry and not a social Ministry as it used to be known before," he said.

Mr Shamenda said his Government recognised the important role that workers organizations' played to the development of the economy.

ZFE president Alfred Masupha said most countries in the world especially those in Africa were grappling with the challenge of corruption.

Reverend Masupha said the vice had become so deeply rooted that it increased the cost of doing business through delays in awarding business contracts and inflated invoices.

"As a result, this scourge has become a huge huddle in the development process of our economies, needling concerted efforts to stump out.

" Government efforts to fight corruption alone is not enough and that is the reason that organisers of this conference have placed on the programme a topic on corruption," he said.

Other speakers during the official opening were from the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Dutch Employers Corporation Programme among others.

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