ACTION Aid Zambia (AAZ) has commended Governement and the Creditors Committee for strides made towards debt restructuring in the country.
AAZ Country Director Nalucha Ziba says the country’s debt saga has been an issue for several years and the strides being taken are commendable.
“Action Aid Zambia (AAZ) would like to commend the Zambian Government and the Creditors’ Committee of Zambia, chaired by China, for their important and unprecedented strides towards debt restructuring and ultimate cancellation. Zambia’s debt saga has been an issue of debate for several years now – and the urgency for resolving this has been escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
She said over the past decade, the government had embarked on ambitious infrastructure development that fueled the need for domestic and external financing.
“The global economic fallout following Covid and the war in Ukraine made government debt unsustainable, rising as it did from 23.8 percent of GDP in 2014 to 141.3 percent of GDP by 2020 .This triggered Zambia’s debt default and led to the present plans to restructure the debt.
Given our diverse debt portfolio, AAZ recognizes the complex nature of these negotiations, particularly with the private creditors. Building on the current position and the provision of financing assurances, the Government must leverage the support of the Creditors’ Committee to ensure the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is beneficial to the Zambian people,” she said.
She said currently, government of has made significant pronouncements for and commitments to all sectors of the economy
“Social sectors, such as education and health, have already seen numerous changes, such as the introduction of free education and the recruitment of teachers and health workers. However, to develop and sustain service delivery going forward, there will be a need for continuous investment in the civil service. This will require bold action to increase tax revenues through progressive and gender-responsive tax reforms,” she said.
She also advised however, that government should resist any pressure for public sector wage bill cuts or freezes that would compromise on service delivery, particularly in the health and education sectors.
“The recent recruitment of 30,496 teachers has been welcome, but with over 100,000 applicants and continuing shortages in some areas, the exercise revealed the need for more consistent and regular recruitment .Particularly in light of the large influx of learners since the introduction of free education in January 2022. There are clear alternatives, not least through taking action to increase Zambia’s tax to GDP ratios so that increased spending can be sustainably financed,” she said.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022)
Zambia recalls metformin tablets due to non-compliance
THE Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has taken action to recall metformin tablets, a diabetes medication, after tests revealed non-compliance.
The Authority has since written to the director of Yash Pharmaceuticals Limited following the development.
In a letter written to the pharmaceutical company, the Authority has directed it to recall metformin tablets 500 milligrams batch number KBTO18 manufactured by Bliss GVS Pharma PVT limited of India.
“Following routine post marketing surveillance of medicines by the Authority, the above-mentioned product manufactured by Bliss GVS Pharma Limited, India was analysed at the National Drug Quality Control Laboratory.The product was found non-compliant with respect to Assay test,” reads the letter in parts.
The Authority said the pharmaceutical company should initiate a recall within 14 days of the receipt of the letter.
ZMRA further advised that the company is required to submit a detailed report of the recall process which should include all the relevant information.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)
ZICTA directs Airtel to compensate subscribers for poor service
FOLLOWING the recent poor Airtel service experienced, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has directed the company to compensate it’s subscribers within five days.
The Authority has also directed the network provider to immediately engage the public regarding the recent network outages and provide assurance of their resolution.
In a statement, ZICTA Manager Corporate Communications Hanford Chaaba said the Authority is closely monitoring the service provider.
He said ZICTA is deeply concerned with the recent intermittent network and service outages on Airtel network.
“To this effect, the Authority has directed Airtel Networks Zambia Plc to compensate all subscribers in line with the approved compensation policy within five days from today December 8, 2023. The Authority has also directed the network provider to, using all available platforms, immediately engage the public regarding the recent network outages and provide assurance of their resolution,” he said.
Mr Chaaba said the network provider has further been directed to urgently put in place measures that will ensure that such outages are averted, and submit to the Authority a long- term plan to improve network resilience.
He added that the Authority will actively monitor network performances of all services providers to ensure that the Quality of Service (QoS) guidelines are strictly adhered to.
“We encourage members of the public to continue reporting any issues related to unavailability and quality of network or service,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)
Trade Kings Foundation donates over Two million kwacha to local farmers
As the year draws to a close the Trade Kings Foundation not only looks at the year that was, but also looks to the future by donating over two million Kwacha, in the form of seed and fertilizers to 500 local farmers from the Nampundwe and Chaminuka communities.
The Trade Kings Foundation recognises the crucial role that small-scale farmers play in Zambia’s agricultural sector. In strengthening their capacity, one significantly contributes to food security in and around these communities. With this in mind, the Trade Kings Foundation continuously strives to support the sector, whether in the form of building structures, laying irrigation for water reticulation, drilling of boreholes and now – the donation of seeds and fertilizers.
As part of the donation, the farmers will attend several workshops to upskill them on topics such as soil health, crop rotation, water management, and pest and disease. The program will also focus on crop ustilisation: how to sell, give back to the local community and plan for the next crop.
During the handover of the donation, Trade Kings Group’s Public Relations Manager, Bridget Kambobe, said, “Small-scale and family farmers play a major role in food production of Zambia. Faced with numerous challenges that include everchanging weather patterns, competition from large industrial farms and a lack of access to reliable, up-to-date information and farming inputs, the drive to support local farmers forms part of the Trade Kings Foundation’s ethos of “Improving Lives” and in so doing we assist in ensuring much-needed food security.”
She concluded, “Our role as Trade Kings Group and Trade Kings Foundation is not only to serve our customers, but to instill hope during the economically uncertain times that we find ourselves in.”