Monday, October 07, 2013

People are tired of economic freedom promises - Chikwanda
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 14 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

COMMENT - This needed to be said, but it is old news. We already know that neoliberal economics (free trade, deregulation, open markets) massively benefit those who already have money, and thereby increase inequality in society, and with it poverty, and social instability. We knew all that long before the elections. What is needed is to heavily tax the mines and make the money available for the expansion of the middle class - free education, free healthcare, cheap loans for entrepreneurs, and investment in infrastructure that benefits the people, not giant corporations. - MrK

ORDINARY people and the youth are tired of continuous promises of economic emancipation, says finance minister Alexander Chikwanda. He said governments in Africa needed to move seriously to fulfil expectations of ordinary people. Chikwanda said this when he handed over the chairmanship of PTA Bank at the 29th session of the PTA bank annual meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"We should move more seriously because the youths, and the general populace in the East and Southern African region, are tired of reading newspaper reports about speeches made from lofty platforms and promising them economic emancipat (ation of) the region," Chikwanda said.

He said closing the infrastructure gap would inevitably enhance the competitiveness of the east and southern African region by reducing the cost of doing business, creating employment for the youth, offering women and vulnerable groups the financial opportunities they deserve.

Chikwanda said huge investment in infrastructure development would contribute to building tenacity among small and medium enterprises to expand the private sector and ensure their sustainability.

The minister also called for a stronger PTA Bank, which would be able to facilitate investments in the transport, energy and communication infrastructure, as infrastructure was critical to unlocking productivity in the labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors.

"The PTA Bank is poised to grow on a positive trajectory to best serve the development and financing needs of the public and private sectors in our region, "said Chikwanda.

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