A recent IMF high-level international conference co-sponsored by GRZ, ILO, and the IMF to discuss solutions for sustained, broad-based, and employment-intensive growth appears to have drawn blanks - with no clear policy outputs. Whilst acknowledging the urgent need for a solution, the participants appear only to suggest the following :
"Unemployment has grown across the world since the onset of the global financial crisis...There is now a need to incorporate employment creation into the formulation of macroeconomic policies to improve employment outcomes. That is why the ILO and the IMF are supporting this national dialogue"
- Martin Clemensson (ILO)
“Growth and jobs are inseparable, and Zambia must invest in social protection, diversify its economy, and reduce its dependency on copper”
- Jaap Wienen (ITUC)
“We need to steer employment creation in the right direction. For that we need coherence and balance across policies, as well as coordination and dialogue among institutions and stakeholders. This conference has marked an important step in that direction”
- Fackson Shamenda (GRZ)
All of this must disappoint Vice President Guy Scott who recently noted that the Patriotic Front will lose power in 2016 if it does not solve the unemployment problems. Separately Alexander Chikwanda is targeting a million jobs before then. But with no clear national development plan (the MMD's sixth national development plan appears to have been abandoned) that puts jobs at the heart of development, there's no clear path to achieving 100,000 jobs let alone a million!
What should Government be doing to reduce unemployment?