PRESIDENT Michael Sata's opening speech of the third session of the 11th National Assembly in which he pledged his Government's commitment to pursue the country's development path was certainly breathtaking.
Zambia's noticeable economic growth, of around seven per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, coupled with the single-digit inflation rate, has become one area of commendation at home and abroad and has predictably engendered a good deal of respect for the Patriotic Front (PF) Government's development agenda and sound economic management.
President Sata's assurance that the Government will continue on this positive route of economic success is just the news many Zambians were expecting even before the Head of State marched into Parliament to face the expectant audience.
Not surprising, the President's speech was highly praised by those who listened to it, from his own Cabinet ministers to members of the diplomatic corps, as well as opposition leaders down to the ordinary person on the street.
In some instances, it would be quite unexpected for the opposition to welcome the President's opening speech, but this is what has exactly transpired.
For instance, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) Edith Nawakwi observed that President Sata has given direction.
For the FDD president, the onus is now squarely on Cabinet ministers to implement the pronouncements made in Mr Sata's speech.
The other leader who saw positives in the presidential address was Mafinga Member of Parliament (MMD) Catherine Namugala, who felt that the President articulated perfectly issues pertaining to the agriculture sector.
Ms Namugala's sentiments were echoed by her Kalomo Constituency counterpart, Request Muntanga (United Party for National Development), who said President Sata had touched on critical agricultural issues which required action.
Incidentally, agriculture has now been acknowledged as one of the major sectors of development as the country attempts to diversify its economy and tackle the fundamental challenges facing many Zambians, especially unemployment which has adversely affected the youth.
Since the PF was ushered into office exactly two years ago, it has been faced with a mammoth task of improving the livelihood of ordinary citizens by finding ways of reducing widespread poverty.
The development projects the PF Government has embarked on have all been tailored towards meeting this extremely important objective.
For a start, the ongoing country-wide road works are intended to ease movement of people and their goods to market places and create employment opportunities for young Zambians.
Rehabilitation of hospitals and health centres, as well as construction of new ones in all districts of the country is meant to improve health delivery.
Building of schools, including universities and colleges, is equally an important aspect of the PF's development agenda as the Government wants as many young Zambians as possible to access formal education, thus far considered to be a pillar of national development.
In addition, there has been focus on the development of the tourism sector, whose prospects were brightened by Zambia co-hosting with neighbouring Zimbabwe, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly last month.
Coupled with the clearly highly visible economic trends, all these developments are surely hints of hope which the President's speech rekindled.