Thursday, August 01, 2013

Zambia needs to address inequality - Wignaraja
By Abigail Chaponda in Nakonde
Wed 17 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

UNITED Nations resident coordinator Kanni Wignaraja says Zambia needs to address inequity and inequality before it breaks the country's backbone.

During the Local Government Association of Zambia and 10th Alliance of Mayors and Municipal leaders (AMICAALL) general conference in Nakonde, Wignaraja said despite Zambia recording a steady growth, good macro policies that stabilised inflation and brought more foreign direct investment, nearly half of the country's population still lived in extreme poverty and cannot fully meet their family's basic needs.

"The story of inequality is as alarming….. points to the growing gaps between the rich and the poor. This undermines all other gains. We cannot grow and sustain a prosperous and peaceful country for all Zambian if our women are paid so less and are only a fraction of our representational leadership, if our daughters don't get to finish secondary school, if our rural youths remain jobless and our farmers cannot get their produce to the market. We have to address inequity and inequality before it breaks the very back bone of our countries and turns into a sense of injustices," she said.

She also expressed dismay at the growing inequalities and the limited opportunities to gain quality secondary education.

"The post national dialogue across all the provinces came back to the number one priority that all young Zambians see as what holds the key to their future, a quality education. Over and over again, this is what was voted in the biggest game changer that will make the difference. And yet today, only about one-tenth of those children who enter our primary schools actually complete secondary school. So what is happening along the way to the rest and what a heavy, heavy cost to the government and the families and what a loss to the country," she said.

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