Lusaka — The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Southern Africa Office (SA) launched the Zambia STEPS Profile and the Country Profiles (CPs) for Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe in Lusaka.
The Secretary to Treasury (Zimbabwe) and Chairman of the Bureau of 23rd Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) of Southern Africa, Mr. Willard L. Manungo, Acting Director, Central Statistical Office, Zambia Mr. Goodson Sinyenga and ECA's Southern Africa regional director, Mr. Said Adejumobi, jointly launched the profiles.
The five profiles provide detailed anayses of the socio-economic developments in the respective countries, level of regional integration, and peformance in terms of gender equality and empowerment, amongst others. In addition, they address a specific theme of economic relevance and proffer key policy options and recommendations to be considered by the member-states. The STEPs Profile for Zambia focuses more on the issue of structurual transformation with key elements of production, employment and society.
Speaking at the launch, ECA's Southern Africa regional director, Said Adejumobi informed the meeting that since 2015 ECA has been publishing Country Profiles (CPs) with the collaboration and support of National Statistical Offices in member States, Ministries of Finance and Economic Development, Central Banks and other relevant national, regional and international data sources and institutions.
Adejumobi advised that poilcy makers in the respective countries should take note of the key recoommendations emanating from the Country Profiles and the STEPS Profile for Zambia. For Zambia for example, he noted that there is limited economic transformation, which underscores an urgent need for economic diversification in the country to reduce the dependence on copper.
As Adejumobi noted, "Areas of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and technology are critical areas that Zambia could develop and leverage for economic diversification and transformation. In addition, in order to maximize the benefits of the copper sector to the economy, the issue of beneficiation and value addition needs to be addressed. The revenue and economic activities generated from the copper sector will be significantly enhanced if value addition and processing of copper derivatives is undertaken here in Zambia".
Adejumobi expressed appreciation on the longstanding partnership and support of the Central Statistical Office in Zambia, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia in providing the data used in compiling the Zambia STEPS profile.
Speaking at the same event, Acting Director, Central Statistical Office,(CSO) Zambia Mr. Goodson Sinyenga assured ECA of continued collaboration in providing quality and timely statistics to feed into the production of reports which seek to enhance the socio-economic transformation of Zambia, promote sustainable development and better the lives of our citizens. He further alluded to areas of collaboration between ECA Southern Africa Office and other ECA divisions including the ECA Africa Centre for Statistics on capacity building. "We have collaborated with the ECA on a number of projects and activities such as the development of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) for Zambia", he emphasized.
The launch was organized in collaboration with the Zambia Central Statistical Office and was attended by government representatives, academics, students, representatives of industry, cooperating partners, COMESA, SADC, and representatives of the Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe Embassies and High Commissions.