Resident Coordinator’s speech at the Launch of the Zambia National Human Development Report for 2016

We are proud of this flagship publication, which is the seventh in the series of National Human Development Reports on Zambia published by UNDP.

Welcome Remarks by the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Janet Rogan

 

Launch of the UNDP Zambia Human Development Report 2016

“Industrialisation and Human Development : Poverty Reduction through Wealth and Employment Creation”

 

Mulungushi Conference Centre, Lusaka

 

 

Your Honour, the Vice President, Mrs Inonge Wina MP

Hon Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry, Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe MP Hon Ministers, Senior Government Officials

Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Development Partners, Colleagues, Heads of UN agencies

Media Colleagues Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

It is my pleasure to welcome you all this morning to the launch of the 2016 Zambia Human Development Report entitled Industrialisation and Human Development: Poverty Reduction through Wealth and Employment Creation. We are proud of this flagship publication, which is the seventh in the series of National Human Development Reports on Zambia published by UNDP.

We are proud for a number of reasons. First, because it fulfils one of UNDP’s core tasks around the world which is to analyse and advocate on critical human development issues. Second, this report is timely: it tackles the connection between industrialisation and human development, highlighting some core policy issues and options as Zambia formulates the 7th National Development Plan through which the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be localised into ambitious targets in line with Zambia's development priorities. And third, the report's findings provide a lot of data and background information to inform the design of Zambia's own Industrialisation Policy.

 

The human development approach has been championed by UNDP globally for around 25 years now, since 1990. As part of that approach, UNDP has published a series of Global Human Development Reports and a series of national Human Development Reports, at the country level, that have taken a strongly people- centered perspective. This means that they have focused on ways to expand

people’s choices and their ability to live a long healthy life, to have access to schooling, and to make a decent livelihood, and to be able to achieve their full potential.

The latest Global Human Development Report, entitled “Work for Human Development” was launched in Addis Ababa on 14 December 2015 by HE Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of

Ethiopia and the UNDP Administrator, Ms Helen Clark. We are providing copies of that global report today. It examines the connections between economic life and human development. It considers how employment, worker productivity, livelihoods, and access to quality public services have an impact on national development outcomes. And in light of the high ambition of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and the requirement to Leave Noone Behind, it emphasises the need for an integrated approach in order to achieve social and economic inclusion.

The National Human Development Report we are launching today connects to, and builds on, the global report for our current context here in Zambia by examining how Industrialisation can create inclusive wealth and employment. To be inclusive, growth needs to provide opportunities for all, and particularly those on lower incomes.

In 2014, Zambia moved into the medium human development category and has been categorised as a Lower Middle Income Country since 2011. This of course reflects progress made but inequalities remain very high and poverty reduction has been slow. This is common to many developing countries where there is a lag between growth and reduction of poverty and inequality. It is also common to find, especially when moving into the Lower Middle Income Category, that the economy is undiversified and the policy space is limited, leaving the country and the people vulnerable to economic shocks and to stagnation in human development.

Here, we have experienced over the last year the challenges of depending on: a single major revenue base - copper; on a single major energy source - large-scale hydro; on a single major agricultural product - maize - and on top of that, lack of

 

value addition in our productive sectors. Historically, Zambia’s economic growth has been led by copper mining. Other sectors such as agriculture and value-added manufacturing have received less attention, either from public or private investment. And the supporting infrastructure and logistical network, and the educational and training base, to enable those industries to develop at a lower cost has also been missing.

The link between industrialisation and human development is quite simple. It is by creating productive employment. Individuals improve the quality of their lives, and those of their families and communities, through their ability to access markets for services and opportunities. Investment in value-added sectors through industrialisation is a strategy the government can pursue and can lead in order to attract investment which in turn creates productive employment.

Industrialisation can help diversify the economy and increase productivity of capital and labour, while helping the private sector to increase and sustain economic output through value creation. As the economy becomes more resilient and investment opportunities expand, this can in turn lead to improvements in the quality of education, health, nutrition, and in the overall standard of living.

To sustain growth rates, create wealth, and reduce poverty, more investment is needed in research and development and in the improvement of our human capital in the country, with a particular emphasis on improving both the technical skills and the employability of people being educated. At the same time, there is a need to improve the quality, reliability and scale of production of raw produce, especially in the agricultural sector from small and medium sized enterprises.

Mechanisation and modernisation of all farming sectors, along with crop and livestock diversification in line with climate variation, are also prerequisites for growth. Inclusive industrialisation can be the key to unlocking growth, reducing poverty and leaving no-one behind.

I commend this report to you and I hope it will contribute to policy dialogue and debates that shape a better future for people in Zambia.

Thank you.

UN entities involved in this initiative
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme