Position Paper for the Economic Commission on Africa (ECA)
Zambia is dedicated to formulating specific and realizable solutions to the issues before the Economic Commission on Africa namely: Pursuing Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Practices in Mineral Trade, Enhancing Good Governance through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Improving Youths’ Access to Education and Employment Opportunities.
- Pursuing Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Practices in Mineral Trade
Zambia acknowledges the value of the mineral trade and the ability for it to expand economies worldwide. To that effort the Zambian government has developed the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) to encourage economic development that is both sustainable and more profitable by promoting export production. Economic growth prospects through the mineral trade are promising both at home and abroad. Zambia approves actionable policy that further allows for transnational growth between Member States and for multilateral relationships that benefit sustainable development while maximizing profit potential for developing nations. Zambia’s economic growth prospects are very promising; as many economic fundamentals for growth are expanding, such as… however the environmental and social impacts of the mineral trade itself must be addressed if a sustainable north south trade is to be possible. Zambia praises the ideals behind the World Bank’s efforts establishing plans that encouraged mining in African states opening the door to take back control of said states own mineral trades and helping to stress the importance of attracting foreign private investors to help regulate and promote the mining industry in those countries. Zambia however calls upon Member States to build international relationships that support sustainable practices in the mineral trade worldwide. While we commend the World Bank efforts to implement plans to help African nations gain control of their mineral industry, it must be noted that these efforts failed to create additional industries which would be sustainable. Participatory development must be implemented by all lesser developed countries (LDCs) to ensure economic and social growth and stability. By encouraging local populations to become involved in all aspects of the mineral trade, it will allow for people to understand the social and environmental aspects of the mineral trade that need improvement. While harvesting minerals has been profitable, African nations have not seen the improvements to their basic needs that would allow for further development. Zambia reaffirms its commitment to the Logos Plan of Action of 1980, which seeks to address education of the population of proper knowledge of their resources and also reinforces the power of transnational relationships and corporations. Zambia having adopted the Zambia’s Vision 2030 plan, stressed the importance to utilize a participatory development strategy to reform the mineral industry. Zambia supports a conscious effort to find ways to reduce environmental risks that are associated with mineralization. Zambia reasserts its commitment to strategies like corporate social responsibility. We support Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol which encourages reducing emissions and having a rigorous approval process for programs who have this goal. Since the Kyoto Protocol expires in December of 2012, it leaves the door open for improvement on the policies already in place. It is noted that since poverty in Africa is prominent, member states must use basic need strategies within the mineral trade to utilize African workers, who would want to preserve their own land, and also allow them to create profits that could be invested into other markets, and overall further economic growth for African nations and member states worldwide. Zambia has worked with the African Union and the ECA in creating the African Mining Vision of 2008. This group enforces the transparency policy needed by all member states to ensure that foreign aid given to African nations are being used efficiently to help the mineral trade and mineral trade regulation.
- Enhancing Good Governance through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development
Zambia recognizes the importance of the African continent in the world community and the opportunities available to African nations to enhance their own socioeconomic statuses. Zambia reinforces the need for organizations that work cohesively with member states to enhance overall stable economic management for the continent of Africa. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is crucial to African development and to meet the initiatives of the Millennium Africa Recovery Plan, the Omega Plan, and the New African Initiative (NAI). Zambia reasserts its commitment to the United Nations Ten Year-Capacity Building Programme for the African Union. We recognize the problems with previous failures of pan-African development initiatives by the World Bank and African transnational relationships; however it must be noted that new relationships must be strengthened to meet sustainable development goals in Zambia. Zambia recommits to meeting the goals set forth by the Enhancing UN-AU Cooperation: Framework for the Ten-Year Capacity Building Programme for the African Union (A/61/630) plan on November 16, 2006. The Republic of Zambia is deeply disturbed by the challenges set forth in establishing good governance and a stable political environment.. Zambia endorses the measurement of good governance by assessing individual and collective human rights within each African nation. Zambia calls for the help from the United Nations and intergovernmental organizations to combat corruption components within the political environment. Zambia encourages all member states to support aspects set forth by the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic, and Corporate Governance [AHG/235 (XXXVII) Annex 1] to ensure that the implementation of democratic governance has positive outcomes while being implemented by NEPAD. Zambia is an active member of the South African Development Community (SADC), a regional grouping Southern African countries created to meet the social and economic challenges—such as recurrent famines— that are prominent in the “horn” of Africa. Zambia was proud to host a recent conference of SADC states signifying its dedication to supporting regional programs and organizations. The high priority Zambia has given to its national corruption-fighting campaign highlights its dedication to develop and exhibit good governance in Africa. The Zambian government is working to: 1) optimize the use of the diminishing cultivable land; 2) expand commodity capacity, and availability; and 3) provide knowledge, tools, and technologies to individuals and encourage nations to do the same. Several programs within the Zambia have striven to realize the objectives and aspirations of the National Policy on Integrated Rural Development, which will increase resource-based activities and grass root industrialization, to generate rural area employment. Multilateral partnerships must expand the provision and enhancement of rural infrastructure, continuing to raise macro awareness of sustainability as a legitimate thematic approach by financial institutions, to fostering the feasibility of sustainable practices through on the ground training of individuals in the poorest regions of the world. Zambia encourages a commitment by ECA members to sustainable agriculture and rural development matched with appropriate funding, especially towards developing countries must be recognized and obtained. Zambia recognizes that practice must both precede, and follow policy; rejecting the conventional agricultural methods and policies that endanger facets of current and future security, Zambians endorse local solutions for a resilient Africa, embracing agricultural development for a strong South, supplemented by indigenous knowledge that outdates the problems we now face. Zambia currently supports micro-credit organizations located throughout the country, many of them providing literacy programs and other educational initiatives. NGOs have established banks in towns and villages that are sustained without continued monitoring and aid assistance.
- Improving Youths’ Access to Education and Employment Opportunities
Zambia with deep concern notes the challenges posed for young people to access education and employment opportunities. Within an economically unstable nation, the obstacles are limitless. Zambia demands that education be provided to all people, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, or disability. By ensuring education that is reasonable for everyone, the Republic of Zambia can ensure that the next generation of Zambian citizens can not only further Zambian development, but also encourage economic growth worldwide. Zambia supports any sanctions that further support education opportunities for the population that lies in poverty. By educating this population we can demand that employment opportunities be afforded to this youth. As one knows, the youth holds the key to the future. Zambia calls upon the United Nations and UNICEF to continue supporting education efforts in poverty stricken African countries. HIV education must be a standard protocol for African Union nations to ensure that the life expectancy of citizens be prolonged, therefore prolonging the ability for this generation to promote economic growth. Zambia encourages transnational partnerships that encourage education and employment opportunities. Regrettably recognizing that discrimination has disabled the youth, disabled, and women from progressing, Zambia encourages any sanction that funds and helps these people continue their post primary education and any skill training that would allow for employment opportunities in the future. Zambia encourages the creation of such programs as Shell LiveWIRE, which was initiated in 1982 to encourage the development of businesses by young people. This successful program has now grown to a global initiative, active in 25 countries across the globe, which encourages self-employment as a viable career option. Zambia recognizes the need for a system to help address and solve the problem of youth employment to avoid potential unrest and thus is in support of the document drafted jointly by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Unite Nations Development Program (UNDP) entitled, ” UN Policy and Operational Guidance on Employment Creation, Income Generation and Reintegration in Post-Conflict Settings.” This document provides a comprehensive approach to economic development through job creation via a set of guiding principles. Zambia supports the following suggested steps in developing a strategy on youth employment delineated in the 2008 document: 1. Ensure youth employment is regarded as a national priority in all countries in their development plans and strategies. Define policies for employment creation. Short term employment programs should be complementary to economic recovery employment opportunities and sustainable employment creation in the medium and long term respectively; 2. Participants’ identification: Factors for consideration in order to establish a sense of priority: age, groups most vulnerable (urban and rural youth, teenage and young adults, displaced- refugees) and gender; 3. Training: Factors for consideration: who provides types, and skills needed to develop. The types of skills should be linked to the development of vocational and technical trainings and to the needs of the context, i.e. whether the situation requires business, agriculture technique or enterprise minded professionals; 4. Apprenticeship: determine who can provide these training opportunities and how to link apprenticeship with local businesses as well as reconstruction and development work. Zambia argues that the employment of these principles to develop a plan for economic recovery in post-conflict nations is essential in helping to deal with the issue youth unemployment.