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Jesuit Scholars in Zambia “elated” by New Government’s Agenda “for economic stability”

The Logo of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). Credit: JCTR

Members of the Zambia-based Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) say they are “elated” by priorities of the newly formed government, including the agenda for economic recovery and improved livelihoods for Zambians.

“JCTR is elated that the new administration’s drive for economic stability has kept human dignity as a key part of its agenda by promising to address the basic needs for all citizens,” the Jesuit scholars in Zambia say in a statement.

In the Tuesday, September 7 statement obtained by ACI Africa, JCTR officials explain their elation saying, “Top on the agenda of the new administration is to restore the nation’s macroeconomic stability towards a united, prosperous Zambia that guarantees basic needs for all its citizens.”

The Jesuit scholars urge the new administration “to remain unwaveringly committed to this drive and register improved living conditions for its citizens in its five year tenure.”

Zambia is burdened by, among other issues, an estimated US$20.46 billion public debt comprising both external and domestic dues.

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The nation has also been experiencing acute food insecurity, high chronic malnutrition, energy deficit, shortage of clean and safe drinking water, and livestock diseases since the 2019 drought, Reliefweb reported in March

At his inauguration on August 24, President Hakainde Hichilema (HH) said his government will ensure economic transformation and food security in the landlocked Southern African nation. 

“No Zambian should go to bed hungry,” President Hichilema was quoted as saying.

He added that his government would also focus on revitalizing the economy and creating jobs for the youth in the country. 

In an August 29 statement, JCTR officials called on HH’s government to work towards fulfilling the campaign promises he made

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“HH and his team have an arduous task to fix a shrinking economy and put it on a growth trajectory,” the Jesuit scholars said.

JCTR officials also noted that the “expectations from the Zambian people who turned out to vote en masse amid widespread poverty, high youth unemployment, and general economic decline as evidenced from the high cost of living and sustainable external debt, are too high.”

“HH and his administration are expected to implement economic reforms that will put Zambia on a more sustainable fiscal footing, liquidate foreign debt, and secure a bailout loan package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” JCTR officials said.

Members of the Zambia-based research institution added that citizens, especially, the jobless youths and women, “are eager to see the new team come up with deliberate efforts to create jobs and business opportunities for these youths and women who made up the majority of the voters who turned out on 12th August.”