Employment Creation Policies and Strategies in Zambia


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Employment Creation Policies and Strategies in Zambia, Prospects, Challenges and Future Outlook
A Presentation made at the GRZ-ILO-IMF National Conference on Economic Growth Strategy for Employment, Decent Work and Development in Zambia- 21st May 2012, Lusaka, Zambia.
By:
Hon Fackson Shamenda, MP, Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Labour
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1.0 BACKGROUND 2.0 REVIEW OF CURRENT POLICIES AND
STRATEGIES 3.0 CHALLENGES IN EMPLOYMENT CREATION 4.0 FUTURE PROSPECTS 5.0 CONCLUSION
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 Zambia has been facing the challenge of high unemployment since the early 1990s
 The problem of unemployment is more prevalent in Urban Areas and amongst the youth, women and people with disabilities
 In addition, there is a significant number of people in low paid and insecure jobs who work in unsafe working environments
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 Poverty levels have remained significantly high despite the economic growth the country has recorded in the past years
 Some of the causes of the high unemployment levels include: ◦ Low manufacturing and industrial base ◦ Weak forward and backward linkages within the economy i.e. Between SMEs and Multi-National Corporations ◦ Weak entrepreneurial culture ◦ Low levels of economic diversification and productivity ◦ Weak education system that doesn't support practical work related skills ◦ Lack of investments in areas of high potential for employment generation E.g. Agriculture ◦ Focus on primary/raw products exports due to lack of investments in value addition
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 Despite some initiatives under Successive Governments, there has been lack of a well coordinated approach of addressing the unemployment problem
 The PF as a party recognised the problem of unemployment even before it ascended to power
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 In this regard, the party through its Manifesto prioritised employment creation for the Zambian people
 Specifically, PF plans to promote pro-poor growth with focus on job creation, skills training, self employment opportunities and improving the quality of jobs
 Now that the Party is in Government, we strongly feel it is time to act decisively on the issue of unemployment
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 Currently, a number of policies and strategies exist that aim at addressing the challenge of unemployment
 These policies and strategies are spread across various sectors of the economy
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 The notable policies that address employment issues include: ◦ The crosscutting Employment and Labour Market Policy; ◦ The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Policy; ◦ The National Youth Policy; ◦ The TEVET Policy; ◦ The Gender Policy; ◦ Agricultural policies; and ◦ The Decentralisation Policy.
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 In addition, there are strategies being implemented by different institutions aimed at addressing unemployment, they include:
◦ The Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund; ◦ The Youth Empowerment Fund; ◦ Business Development Support programmes under
various Ministries such as Community Development, Commerce, Agriculture, Gender, Youth and Sport, Mines, Education, Science and Technology among others.
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 Amongst the key challenges that need to be addressed are the following:
◦ Uncoordinated efforts that result in duplication; ◦ Poor Management of the strategies; ◦ Implementation of piece-meal activities that do not address the
problem in its entirety; ◦ Poor programme/activity design; ◦ Relatively poor funding towards the initiatives; ◦ Implementation of strategies that result in dependence on
Government as opposed to real empowerment; ◦ Lack of consistency or continuity to ensure sustained results; and ◦ Weaknesses in employment and labour related legislation and
system of labour administration
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Employment Creation Policies and Strategies in Zambia