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Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A smaller government (Guest Blog)

Allow me to take this opportunity to make the following contribution to the article entitled “A New Ministry for Culture?”.

There is a need for a government that would perform existing and planned essential government functions with only 10 Cabinet Ministers. The government ministries over which the 10 Cabinet Ministers should preside, including a Ministry for Culture and Community Services, are as follows:

Education, Training and Sport.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of policies relating to, the following: general and tertiary education; vocational training; the training of teachers; adult literacy programs; matters concerning remuneration for teachers,
lecturers, trainers, and researchers; and sporting programs in all educational and training institutions. And coordination of national program s and activities pertaining to education, training and sport with those of private institu­tions, as well as provincial and municipal governments nationwide.

Public Health and Sanitation.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of policies relating to, the following: medical care, medical research, child health and development, family planning, disease control and prevention, food safety (local and imported foodstuff), drug safety (local and imported medicines), safety of herbal medicines, public health education, public health
inspections, and matters concerning remuneration for public health personnel. And coordination of national public health programs and activities with those of private health care facilities and provincial and municipal governments.

Agriculture and Food Security.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of policies relating to, the following: sustainable agricultural development and long-term food security – including the provision of agricul­tural incentives, support to agri business establishments and agricultural research centres, damming rivers, and construction of irrigation canals. And coordination of national programs and activities pertaining to agriculture and food security with those of the private sector and both provincial and municipal governments.

Finance and Revenue.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of policies relating to, the fol lowing: financial matters and monetary issues, including the stock / securities market; national debt management and external debt resolution; management of all state-owned enter prises; administration, dispensation and recovery of loans granted to stu­dents and trainees admitted to institutions of higher learning, and management of a government scholar ship fund through a “Lo ans and Scholarships Committee” to be created in due course; and revenue generation through taxation, customs and excise duties, service fees / charges, superintendence over the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA), and pro vision of postal services through the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST).

Commerce and Industry.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of poli­cies relating to, the fol lowing: trade and industrialization strategy, tour ism, mining, business and investment promotion, regulation of imports and exports, trade relations, registration of foreign companies, research and development (R&D) support for local manufacturers, and superintendence over the operations of the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA). And coordination of national commercial and industrial program s and activities with those of provincial and municipal governments.

Defence and Security.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of policies relating to, the fol lowing: enhancement of national defence and security (including the issues of training, equipment and matters concern­ing remuneration for defence and security personnel). And coordination of national defence and security efforts with those of private secu­rity companies and provincial and municipal governments.

Works, Supply and Transport.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of policies relating to, the following: utilization and management of nationally owned pieces of land; provision and maintenance of vital infrastructure nation wide – including an efficient, inter-modal and safe network of ground and air transportation; development of malleable stretches of the Zambezi, Kafue, Luangwa and other sizeable perennial rivers for water transportation – including the proposed Shire-Zambezi Waterway involving Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique; and construction, renovation and maintenance of government facilities and pieces of property nationwide. And coordination of the provision and maintenance of national public facilities with the efforts of local govern me nts.

Culture and Community Services.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implemen­tation of policies relating to, the fol lowing: preservation of the country’s national treasures, including national monuments, museums, his­torical sites, cherished traditional and cultural values; promotion of tradition al music and culture-related crafts; national unity and patriotism; religious harmony; national ceremonies and festivals; and issues relating to chieftains, women, children, disabled citizens, and retirees and the aged. And coordi nation of national cultural and community programs and activities with those of provincial and municipal governments, and liaison with such governments on matters relating to the civil police.

Justice, Prisons and Immigration.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of policies relating to, the following: legal matters (including representation of the Government), protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, administration of the Zambia Prison Service, legal aid, title deeds, national registration, passports and immigration, citizenship and naturalization, work permits, treaties and agreements with other countries, intellectual property rights (patents, copyrights and trade marks), and remuneration for judicial personnel and support staff.

Foreign Affairs.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear heading the implementation of policies re­lating to, the following: foreign political relations, including conflict resolution and peace-keeping efforts; consular affairs and services; profiles of foreign countries; services and vital information to Zambians in, or travelling to, foreign countries; publicizing Zambian society abroad; and management of a program which shall confer rare and special “Zambian Residency” status upon a selected number of distinguished foreigners.

Henry Kyambalesa (Guest Blogger)

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