FINANCE minister Margaret Mwanakatwe says the industrialisation drive is on course.
During the opening of the 26th East and Southern Africa Association of Accountants General 2019 annual conference in Livingstone yesterday, Mwanakatwe said the implementation of the economic stabilisation and growth programme was now bearing good fruit and effectively contributing to the government’s development initiatives outlined in the Seventh National Development Plan.
“The industrialisation drive is on course. Economic diversification programmes are taking root. Jobs are being created through the country-wide developmental projects. Through these initiatives, no citizen will be left behind in our mission to make Zambia a prosperous middle-income country by 2030,” she said. “What I meant in the preceding paragraphs is that without the good road and airport infrastructure, it will have been difficult for all the beautiful women and the smart gentlemen I see in this arena to get to Livingstone and attend the 26th ESAAG annual conference. Without energy sector reforms, it will not have been possible to have stable power at this event and the country at large.”
Mwanakatwe said without the telecommunications expansion projects by the government and the private sector, it would have been difficult for the government to record the successes that it has under the Public Financial Management Reforms, the Integrated Financial Management Information System [IFMIS], and the single treasury account.
She said what happens in an individual country’s economy, in the region, and on the continent, had an impact on the well-being of the accountancy profession, among others, and on the progress and growth of ESAAG and other similar organisations.
Mwanakatwe said the conference comes at a time when numerous African countries were faced with challenges of wide fiscal deficits and debt.
She said accountants, in collaboration with other professionals, need to take up the mantle and help Africa tackle those glitches in ensuring that development financing and investments have greater impact on job and wealth creation.
“Fellow accountants, please help your countries in avoiding resource wastage. Help your countries in ensuring that there is value for money in public procurement and expenditure. Even with the constrained fiscal space in most ESAAG member countries, the lawful and positive creativity of accountants could help to achieve more within the prevailing circumstances,” Mwanakatwe said.
She noted that the African Union had now commenced consultations with ESAAG to explore the possibility of integrating and amalgamating all regional public sector accountancy groupings on the continent such as ESAAG, into one body under its auspices.
“Embrace the AU initiative so that you gain from the experiences of other regions … under the frequent counsel and guidance of His Excellency the President, my ministry has been spearheading the implementation of public financial management reforms in order to ensure that public resources are not only accounted for but also used for budgeted purposes with the ultimate goal of benefitting the people of this great country,” said Mwanakatwe.