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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zambia urged to pursue International
Monetary Fund bailout package

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government should continue pursuing its engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an aid bailout package, a local think-tank said on Monday.

The importance of the package from the international lender cannot be overemphasized, the Policy Monitoring and Research Center said amid reports that an IMF team will be in Zambia next month.

Bernadette Deka, the think-tank’s executive director, said the pursuance of an IMF bailout package for balance of payment support should hinge on the conditions being favorable to consolidating the country’s economic growth.

“The IMF bailout policy that focuses on measures such as economic adjustments, austerities and consolidations for the fiscal position should be prioritized,” she said.

According to her, the IMF presents affordable finance and is significantly more affordable than commercial borrowing from both the domestic and international markets.

An IMF package, she said, would complement the government through technical assistance on fiscal management as well as offer external accountability of fiscal and growth policies for the country.

A team from the IMF will be in Zambia in the first week of November.

Zambia has been seeking an IMF bailout package, believed to be 1.3 billion U.S. dollars.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Zambia launches survey to establish ICT access and usage

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia technology and information regulator on Friday announced the start of a survey aimed at establishing the extent of access and use of various Information Communication Technology (ICT) products and services.

Ngabo Nakonde, Manager-Corporate Communications at the Zambia Information Communication and Technology Authority, said the 2018 national survey on access and usage of ICTs among households and individuals will run from October 17 to November 8.

“The national survey is broadly aimed at tracking progress on access and usage of ICT products and services in the country,” she said.

“The exercise is being undertaken in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport and Communication and the Central Statistical Office with the support of the Swedish Development Assistance.”

She noted that the survey will involve some 6,000 households across the southern African nation’s 10 provinces.

The survey, she said, will attempt to establish the level of access and usage of diverse ICT services and products, including the perceptions on the quality of service and affordability.

The survey will also attempt to evaluate the gender dimensions related to access and usage of ICTs, identify the volume of e-wastage generation and provide recommendations related to increasing access and usage of ICTs, she added.

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Civic body calls for more action to tackle poverty in Zambia

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty here Wednesday with a call by a local advocacy body for increased action to tackle poverty.

The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction said it was regrettable that 54 years after independence, the gap between the rich and the poor in Zambia was widening while poverty has remained one of the biggest challenges facing the country.

Isaac Ngoma, the chairperson of the organization said it was unacceptable that over 40 percent of the country’s population was still living in absolute poverty, with women and children being the most affected.

“As we commemorate this year’s day for the eradication of poverty, we call for more action towards empowering and upholding the rights of the poor,” he said.

This year’s theme is “Coming Together With Those Furthest Behind to Build an Inclusive World of Universal Respect for Human Rights and Dignity”.

The official said the theme calls for more practical action in overcoming the country’s socio-economic challenges and enhancing interventions that will move citizens out of poverty and allow them to enjoy their rights and live a life of dignity.

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Six people drown as boats capsize in Zambia

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- At least six people drowned when the boats they were in capsized on a lake in Zambia’s Chilubi district in Luapula Province, the state news agency reported on Monday.

The accident, which involved two boats, happened last Friday on Lake Bangweulu due to strong winds, the Zambia News and Information Service said.

District commissioner Ernest Bwalya said the first incident happened when a boat that was carrying six people capsized, resulting in the drowning of four while the other two managed to swim to safety.

The second accident involved a boat carrying two fishermen. Both drowned, he said. 

             

 

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