Analysis: EVANS NGOMA
AS WE begin the New Year, thorough introspection of 2017 socially, economically, spiritually is of paramount importance.
On a personal note as I have been reflecting, the year that has gone by has been a mixed bag. Mixed in the sense of new discoveries, country’s economic growth at plus three percent but on the contrary the populace grumbling about political tension, economic growth not cascading / being felt by ordinary man on the street, woman in the markets, in the townships and business people. Despite all this, as BuyZed, we believe that we have more in common as a country that should unite and build us than what separates us. As we start the year, we need to set out clear outputs that we believe should and will help the country go. And when the country grows, it is our hope that a good tangible observation is opportunities for all and, more importantly, more money in our pockets. If this does not happen we end up in a circle that probably we do not see an outlet. Using the basis of 2017, as BuyZed, we have been championing among other things locals to benefit more from our God-given natural resources. As new mineral discoveries are being done like gold deposits in Lundazi, the booming copper production in Solwezi and the mukula tree in Northern and Muchinga provinces, one can only wonder what this can do to our country in upgrading our socio-economic being. This in our view should be done as a matter of urgency so that a country and its people must feel and be part of benefitting from what our country has for us. This can only be through the establishment of community trusts that are funded by our natural resources. Modalities for these can be recapped/modified but the fact that we as a country are having that discussion should be a good starting point. We also need to build the strides we have as a country. We are a going concern and thus must not make a mistake of always starting from scratch. With this one of the key fundamental points is that we need to build collectivism and strong unity of purpose. We appreciate our diversity but in our diversity we have more in common we share directly and indirectly. Issues like economic stability and growth, we all want jobs, we are all proud to be Zambians and we are united by big tribe, Zambia. This must make us all move, exert efforts and pull in a singular direction. As part of the efforts to build collectivism, as BuyZed we are championing key stakeholder engagements and interactions across all sectors that is cleaners association, clearing and forwarding, small-scale farmers, fruit and vegetables, tourism, manufacturers, retailers, transport association, trade unions, government, women and youth organisation, disabled, artists inter alia with the aim of having all under one roof and making a commitment that we must always think of Zambia first. It must be a culture and a clear understanding that a prosperous country is key to stability is an underlying message but more importantly that prosperity is an issue of collective efforts in our diverse areas of work. As the year is just beginning, we need to pledge and commit as individuals, that in whatever we do either live, work, play we will support locally-produced goods and services for the benefit of our county and all in it. This should be our message for the year and it takes iwe na ine (you and me) for that to be successful. We need unity and collectivism. Zambia cannot be successful if we do not support it and we all have a role to play in our diversity. I like the way our men and women in the defence force operate, commit and be loyal to the country. If in our individual capacity we can take a leaf of that and apply it for our country I believe we can only grow. 2018 should be a year of supporting our locally produced goods and services, *Setting up of community trusts in areas with God-given resources for locals to benefit *Creation of reserved sectors for only local players *Creation of linkages among industry players *In our diversity seek a common goal and strive for its success. *Employment for locals and critical skills transfer in key sectors such as road construction, engineering among others. This by itself is no mean task and it is impossible to achieve it without all of us pulling in one direction. We need each other and we must all be a brother’s keeper. Let’s all strive for a successful 2018 knowing too well the power in collectivism and unity of purpose.The author is founder of BuyZed Campaign Zambia.