By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
THE Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has urged Government to restructure operations of State Owned Enterprise (SOEs) to make them economically viable.
In a recent policy analysis statement, PMRC called for the restructuring and development of new strategies for the SOEs to compete favourably with private entities.
“There is need to undertake restructuring and develop a strategic industrial development plan to guide Zambia’s development goal of being a ‘prosperous middle-income industrial nation by 2030’,” the statement said.
With the Industrial Development (IDC) in offing, PMRC feels there is need to address historical inefficiencies such as ministerial interference and patronage as well as lack of strategic direction which it observed that resulted in poor management in most of the SOEs.
It called for thorough monitoring and evaluation in order to address weak, ineffective, disorganised boards of SOEs in the country.
The statement further said by doing so financial and physical asset losses could be reduced thereby contributing to economic development.
It added that this would restore economic power to the Zambian Government while encouraging foreign re-investment which will in turn redress income inequalities as well as develop local human resources as an economic catalyst.
The concept of IDC was first introduced in Zambia following its independence to steer economic development through management of Zambia’s resources.
However in the last 20 years, the holding body was disbanded due to privatisation and mismanagement of subsidiary companies.
It hinted that although economic growth had been positive in the last decade, with real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) averaging six per cent, little economic transformation had occurred.