Sunday, December 15, 2013

'Zambians want jobs, good education and better health'
By Gift Chanda
Fri 01 Nov. 2013, 14:00 CAT

ZAMBIANS want their government to prioritise good education, better job opportunities and better health care, according to a report released yesterday by ONE Campaign.

The report is an outcome of 'You Choose', ONE's technology-focused campaign where citizens from Zambia, Malawi and South Africa were asked to tell their governments and the United Nations (UN) their top priorities for the post-2015 development agenda.

The top five priorities for Zambian participants were a good education, better job opportunities, better healthcare, better transport and roads, as well as an honest and responsive government.

A total of 196,337 citizens participated in the campaign that took place from January to June 2013.

"The voice of Zambians is in agreement with those of Malawians and South Africans where the findings show that creation of more and quality jobs and provision of quality education were the top priorities for citizens of those countries," the report revealed.

"A responsive and honest government was another priority that made it into the top three priorities for both Malawians and South Africans."

The Zambian government, which was ushered into power on promises to create job opportunities for the youth, seeks to create at least 200,000 decent jobs next year.

Dr Sipho Moyo, ONE Africa director, said the hard data that was collected regarding citizens' real concerns and development priorities had been presented and it was up to the governments to act.

The finds have also been submitted to the UN High Level Panel tasked with setting the new development agenda.

"We are pleased that the voices of Africa citizens were heard," said Dr Moyo.

"The panel recognised that it is vital for the needs and desires of the world's poorest, of which majority are Africans, are placed at the heart of a new development agenda. Efforts such as 'You Choose' will ensure that the post-2015 MDGs are the peoples' MDGs, not MDGs from the UN, governments or NGOs. It is now up to our governments to turn the aspirations of their citizens into actionable programs that will achieve enduring socio-economic transformation and virtually end extreme poverty by 2030."

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