Saturday, November 15, 2008

‘Zambia lacks class of economic technocrats’

‘Zambia lacks class of economic technocrats’
Written by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Saturday, November 15, 2008 4:50:33 AM

ZAMBIA lacks a class of technocrats to discuss the implementation and meaningful domestication of good economic policies, University of Zambia (UNZA) head of economics Professor Manengo Ndulo has observed.

Prof Ndulo said owing to lack of opinion makers who could debate and spearhead the execution of good economic policies, the country was lagging behind in implementing and domesticating good economic treaties that the country sometimes signs.

In an interview, Prof Ndulo proposed that a group of technocrats need to work with the civil society and other interest groups specifically to look at spearheading the economic policies and direction of the country.

Prof Ndulo also observed that although most of the existing civil society organisations were currently engaged in implementation of policies and programmes for the country, most of them had a strong inclination towards politics at the expense of economic issues.

“In Zambia, we clearly lack opinion leaders who can meet in terms of promoting good ideas and not bad ideas. Good ideas can be very popular and can dominate but they won’t get you anywhere,” Prof Ndulo explained. “But that can only be something which would come from a group of technocrats within society which cannot only promote those ideas but also transform those ideas in terms of implementation.”

He observed that the political inclination of most civil society organisations in Zambia was hurting the country’s ability to foster economic development.

“It is this element of debate and especially in the economic management and policy that we lack…what you could call a class of technocrats and policy makers who can debate and argue policy choices which can be made,” said Prof Ndulo. “The civil society organisations are part of the opinion makers but if you look at what I call opinion makers in Zambia, it is overburdened by political civil societies who are more than where the issues are and these are the economic policy issues.”

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