Friday, August 07, 2009

(DAILY MAIL) Resist job cuts RB urges private sector

Resist job cuts RB urges private sector

PRESIDENT Banda says the private sector should resist the temptation of job cuts but rather focus on other measures that can make their operations vibrant. And Zain Zambia Plc and Farmers House yesterday commissioned their newly-opened headquarters in Lusaka which was constructed at a cost of US$8 million.

Mr Banda said yesterday that he is concerned that while the economy is on the path of recovery, there is a tendency in the private sector to implement cost-cutting measures which sometimes affect employees.

Mr Banda was speaking in a speech read for him by Minister of Transport and Communications Geoffrey Lungwangwa at the commissioning of the new Zain offices in Lusaka yesterday.

He said the information communication technology (ICT) sector has remained resilient to the financial shocks such that the sector should maintain the service and employment levels.

Mr Banda commended Zain shareholders’ vision of bringing people together as partners in running the affairs of the company. He said the spirit of sharing benefits and risks encourages Government to do even more in the ICT sector.

President Banda said his Government is discussing the Information and Communication Technologies Bill, Electronic Communications and Transactions Bill and the Postal Services Bill.

He assured the nation that the bills are designed to move the ICT sector in line with regional, continental and global best practices.

Mr Banda said this is also designed to streamline the licensing regime to allow operators to determine the best technologies to deploy.

“On the other hand, Zambians, like other consumers around the globe, are eager to have technologies such as television on mobile phones in the nearest future,” he said.

Mr Banda said the bills have also made provisions for a technology neutral licensing framework while the number of licences will be minimised.

He said this is in line with Government’s policy of reducing the cost of doing business as envisaged in the business licensing reform programme.

Mr Banda said Government will continue to engage the private sector to achieve the promise expressed in the Vision 2030.

He said the national ICT policy launched in 2007 recognised the active participation of the private sector in national development especially in the delivery of services to the people.

Mr Banda said the ICT policy outlines the vision of Zambia being transformed into an information and knowledge-based society, supported by consistent development of and pervasive access to ICTs by all citizens by 2030.

And Zain Zambia Managing Director David Holliday said the company was committed to bringing innovative products and services that would help create a healthy business environment to make Zambia a more attractive investment destination.

Mr Holliday thanked Government for granting the company a 3G test licence.

“We have invested heavily in our 3G preparedness, complying with all legal requirements to ensure Zambia is not left out on the great technological advancements that are a key to national development.

“This will allow us to deliver high speed broadband internet with myriad applications from healthcare through 3G handsets, to incubating content entrepreneurs for youth and business alike,” he said.

Mr Holliday said Zain has grown considerably over the years, resulting in fragmented work space to accommodate everyone in Lusaka.

He said this has caused inefficiency with staff spread over Woodlands, Farmers House and Arcades.

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