By HELEN ZULU –
\“PROMOTING a Green Economy” was the theme for the just-ended 91st Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show (ZACS) held in Lusaka.
In its simplest expression, a green economy is low carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive.
In a green economy, growth in income and employment should be driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy, resource efficiency, prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
A green economy can also be thought of as an alternative vision for growth and development, one that can generate growth and improvements in people’s lives in ways consistent with the principles of sustainable development.
The selection of this year’s theme by the Agriculture and Commercial Society of Zambia (ACSZ) who are the organisers of the showpiece excited many exhibitors whose interpretation was unique depending on the goods and services they offer.
Going round the stands in the show and listening to explanations on how the companies interpreted the theme was exciting as various companies exhibited the desire to embrace new technologies.
The innovation exhibited was also extraordinary.
Government was also impressed with the innovation and creativity exhibited by various participants at the show as it was in line with its agenda to promote industrialisation.
Commerce, Trade and Industry minister Margaret Mwanakatwe was impressed with the way most exhibitors interpreted the theme which showed the zeal to innovate and diversify their services.
Ms Mwanakatwe says there was a synergy between Government’s desire to promote industrialisation, diversification and what the exhibitors did at the show.
“I am encouraged at how our exhibitors have interpreted this year’s theme. What I see are innovations, I see people bringing about competitiveness in what they are doing, and it is impressive.
“I see a synergy between what is happening at this year’s show and what Government is trying to do in promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and most importantly industrialisation and job creation,” Ms Mwanakatwe says.
The green economy approach is an effort to focus sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts on transforming economic activities and economies.
In trying to interpret the theme for this year’s show, most exhibitors put up exceptional displays that indicate that ‘green’ is the way to go.
For the Business and Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA), promoting a green economy entails looking at the wellbeing of the people by putting into consideration whatever interventions that bring about development with minimum risks to the environment.
BRRA director and chief executive officer Sharon Sichilongo says in promoting a green economy, the agency was looking at interventions that were currently in place to operationalize the Business Regulatory Act.
Ms Sichilongo says the Act provides that regulators attempt to provide their services electronically which meant that there will be less paper in circulation.
“For BRRA, we are promoting a green economy through government to business e-services.
“We are also looking at the processes that businesses have to undergo in order for them to get the necessary certificates, authorizations and licenses, so we are trying to see how we can harmonize these processes so that we can reduce on time and the cost of doing business,” she states.
For the banking sector, Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) public relations and administrative officer Miriam Zimba indicates that the
sector was promoting a green economy by promoting paperless transactions.\
“For us, what promoting a green economy means is that there is less cheque in circulation which translates to going green as a sector, as you know recently the item limit on cheques was revised and this means cheques above K25, 000 can no longer be deposited over the counter.
“We are also encouraging people to use their point of sale machines and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for their transactions to avoid
the use of paper, “Ms Zimba says.
For Muhanya Solar Company Limited, this year’s theme was in line with what the company has been doing by deploying renewable energy.
“Promoting a green economy is what we have been doing as a company, through the deployment of renewable energy, technologies that do not
have any harm to the environment. For us its solar and wind,” says company business development officer Stephen Chileshe.
Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) says Zambia is doing well in terms of promoting a green economy path.
CEEC public relations and communications officer Michelo Mukata says the commission is promoting a green economy by empowering a number of farmers in different fields as a way of value addition.
Mr Mukata adds that projects such as the recently launched cassava commercialization programme is on course to lift the cassava subsector
to become one of the most significant drivers of industrialisation in the country.
This will ensure some of the principal drivers of sustainable and transformative economic development that have led to CEEC’s adoption of policies that promote a green economy.
CEEC believes that citizens can add value to what is abundantly available to them, things such as crops, livestock or natural resources like water and wildlife to generate sustainable growth and livelihood improvement for the economic transformation of the country.
With the zeal, creativeness and desire to innovate and diversify exhibited by most companies at the just-ended show, there is no doubt
that Zambia is in the right direction in trying to promote a green economy.
In line with this year’s theme, growth in income and employment should be driven by both public and private investments.