By NATION REPORTER
PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has declared that his administration will in 2023 focus on unlocking rigidities in the economy and factors hampering economic growth.
And President Hichilema has explained that the last 15 months of his administration were hinged on how to stabilise the country’s economy and debt restructuring.
The President stated that his administration had managed to restore the development path of the economy, which has seen the pulling down of inflation and stabilising the foreign exchange rate to acceptable levels among other achievements.
The President was speaking during a discussion engagement organised by the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington-DC, attended by interest groups and moderated by Michelle Gavin, a former US Ambassador to Botswana.
President Hichilema assured that the country was poised for growth at three percent in 2023, adding that measures that had been put in place to manage both external and internal debts were pleasing.
“We had to deal with clamping down on public expenditure extravagance which was excessive and will continue to work hard to bring it down despite not being popular among others who were used to it,” the President said.
President Hichilema said the government would strive to ensure it did not acquire debts as was the case in the past, hence several institutional reforms and measures had been instituted.
He expressed happiness that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal had succeeded and more was being looked at to address the country’s debt situation.
Mr Hichilema said now that the country had stabilised, his administration’s focus would be on growing the economy.
“We are very clear about what we want to achieve and will continue learning from other progressive economies as well,” the Head of State said.
President Hichilema is in Washington DC to attend the U.S.A Africa leaders’ Summit which started yesterday and closes tomorrow. It is being attended by over 43 African heads of State at the invitation of President Joseph Biden.
The main focus of the conference is to strengthen Africa US relations and explore new areas of interest that would lead to mutual benefit of the two continents.
Meanwhile President Hichilema yesterday attended a closed door meeting together with five other African leaders at the United States Institute of Peace.
The other Presidents who participated in the closed door meeting included those of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Niger, Somalia and Mozambique.