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K3.9 Billion for key Empowerment Programmes in 2018

In line with the spirit of the Government’s economic transformation agenda, the Ministry of Finance wishes to respond to requests by citizens for information on empowerment programmes in the 2018 Budget. The budget provides practical measures to diversify the economy, create jobs, reduce poverty, empower citizens, protect the vulnerable, and reduce inequalities.

In addition to some on-going programmes facilitated through foreign financing such as the US$ 50 million Zambia Agriculture Enterprise Development Fund, over K3.9 billion has been provided in the 2018 Budget for empowerment programmes under various Ministries and Government Spending Agencies. The breakdown of the K3.9 billion provision is as follows:

  1. K48.2 million under the Ministry of Youth and Sport for the Action Plan for Empowerment Programme;
  2. K42.7 million under the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission as Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund;
  3. K38 million for the Agriculture and Industrial Credit Fund and for Support to Agro Business;
  4. K12.5 million for the Women Empowerment Programme under the Ministry of Gender for 30,000 beneficiaries who will be empowered with productive grants and micro credit countrywide;
  5. K16 million under the Ministry of Defence for Youth Skills Training, Development, & Empowerment Programmes;
  6. K75.5 million educational support and grants in collaboration with the World Bank targeting 16,000 girls from extremely poor households in 16 districts and a further 75,000 women with grants in 51 districts;
  7. K721 million under Ministry of Community Development for the Social Cash Transfer Scheme 700,000 beneficiaries;
  8. 8) K16 million under the Ministry of Community Development for the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme to enable 200,000 beneficiaries to have access to education and healthcare;
  9. K140 million for the Food Security Pack for 80,000 vulnerable but viable farmers;
  10.  K39.5 million under Ministry of Education for the School Feeding Programme for 1.5 million beneficiaries;
  11.  K218.4 million Constituency Development Fund;
  12.  K557 million for student loans and scholarships and K176 million for the Skills Development Fund; and,
  13.  K1.78 billion for the Farmer Input Support Programme E-Voucher System for one-million beneficiaries.

Sharing reflections for the week, MINISTER OF FINANCE MARGARET MWANAKATWE this morning reiterated that the launch of Seventh National Development Plan in 2017 renewed Zambia’s commitment to the attainment of the Vision 2030 goal of being a prosperous middle income country.

The Minister affirmed that there is need to learn from the country’s past challenges in managing empowerment funds if we have to charter the desired path to a bright destination for all beneficiaries.

She echoed the Government’s keenness to advance the nation’s interests and well-being in the management of empowerment funds.

“The stakes are high, so we will not allow the current positive trajectory of accelerated development to divert from the economic stabilisation and growth path that the country has set for itself,” she said, further stating that, “the vulnerable are a key component of the programme hence the provision of empowerment funds in the 2018 Budget.”

“Our future is bright and secure under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu the President of the Republic of Zambia,” she said, adding that, “with His Excellency’s visionary and determined guidance, we are on the path to making our great nation a prosperous and more inclusive society.”

To ensure that the trust and confidence that the people of Zambia have deposited in the Government is not betrayed, Mrs. Mwanakatwe said all Ministries Provinces and Other Spending Agencies must remain fiscally disciplined and work hard to raise more of our own resources in order to finance and help meet the nation’s development aspirations.

“These empowerment programmes, grounded on a realistic understanding of our current financial position, once effectively implemented, will give hope and practical support to our women and youth and protect the vulnerable within our midst so that no one is left behind,” said the Minister of Finance.

Issued by:

Chileshe Kandeta