CUTS International Zambia seeks more stakeholder participation in policy formulation

The Post Zambia. February 12, 2014

CUTS international Zambia has urged the government to seek stakeholder participation in policy formulation as it strives to promote inclusive economic growth.

Speaking today at the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) sPokes capacity-building workshop in Lusaka, CUTS board member, Yusuf Dodia, said the inequality and economic gaps which exit in Zambia could be a result of non-inclusiveness in the formulation and implementation of policies, as well as strategies.

"It is clear that although a number of policies and strategies have been prepared by Zambia, there is always a significant gap between its content and the priority needs of many stakeholders, especially marginalised groups in rural provinces who are facing several developmental challenges," he said.

"The excluded groups, in most cases, include those that have a huge bearing in shaping the economic activity of the country."

Dodia appealed to the government to ensure that, "as it strives to promote trade as a means of achieving inclusive economic growth, it creates an enabling environment that promotes participation of all stakeholders, especially the non-state actors from a wider spectrum."

Commerce deputy minister, Richwell Siamunene, agreed that for Zambia's trade policy to stimulate the much needed economic growth and sustainable development which translates into significant poverty reduction, there was need to identify and embrace developmental needs of those who have a huge potential in shaping Zambia's trade and integrate them fully into the policy formulation and implementation processes.

He said the government recognises the importance of effective stakeholder engagement in order to shape an inclusive and transparent trade policy. "Undoubtedly, this would help our country to generate sustained trade benefits beyond the present performance," he said.

The EIF sPokes workshop looked at a roadmap to mainstream trade in Zambia.

The aim of EIF sPokes is to enhance the capacity of EIF National Implementation Arrangements (NIAs), particularly the National Steering Committee (NSC), to drive forward a country-owned and sustainable EIF delivery through achieving inclusive participatory engagement of NSAs, particularly the private sector.

Burkina Faso, Nepal and Zambia are the three countries where this module titled "EIF sPokes" is being delivered before the end of 2014.

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