Zambia committed to job creation - Miles
April 03, 2015 Masuzyo Chakwe - COMMERCE deputy minister Miles Sampa says Zambia is committed to pursuing policy objectives that will ensure sustainable development and creation of decent jobs.
Speaking in New York during a panel discussion at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) 2015 integration segment on: "Achieving sustainable development through employment creation and decent work for all", Sampa said the government, in partnership with UN agencies and the Finnish government, was implementing the Zambia Green Jobs Programme.
"This programme aims at promoting the creation of green and decent jobs through the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the building construction sector," he said, according to a statement issued by first secretary for press and public relations at Zambia's permanent mission to the United Nations, Chibaula Silwamba. "The programme facilitates and builds the capacity of finance and business service providers that support about 3,000 MSMEs in the building construction value chain."
Sampa said green buildings would contribute to a more sustainable approach in alternative materials used, water and energy saving technologies applied in construction, waste management and sanitation.
He added that the programme would ensure better living standards for Zambians.
"Sustainable development and greening in particular brings with it a number of benefits, which are environmental, economic and social in nature," Sampa said. "It is expected that sustained, inclusive growth and job creation would be achieved while preserving and improving the quality of the environment in Zambia."
He informed the gathering that in February this year, the government established the Zambia Green Building Association (ZGBA), which will coordinate green initiatives to drive sustainable transformation of the built environment, and raise awareness of green building technologies, programmes and practices.
Sampa said the ZGBA would also increase the capacity of the construction industry for stakeholders to effectively participate in the sector.
He said Zambia had adopted a Green Development strategy that would contribute to the country's social development and economic growth.
"The economic growth is underpinned by the rapid growth in the construction sector, and therefore significant impact is expected in this area," Sampa said.
He said the government encourages financial institutions, suppliers of construction materials and property developers to integrate sustainable practices in their business operations.
"Zambia is in the process of developing and reviewing relevant policy framework including, but not limited to, developing business linkages in green building and construction projects; creating incentives for investment in green property development and foreign investment; providing support to local entrepreneurs in close collaboration with the private sector through business development services," said Sampa, adding that there would be "revision of existing building guidelines and regulations to encourage effective implementation and development of an Environmental Impact Assessment tool for the residential housing sector."
University of Massachusetts' Professor Robert Pollin, 3M Company vice-president for Global Sustainability Gayle Schueller and International Labour Organisation job creation and enterprise development director Peter Poschen participated in the panel discussion.
Originally published by Post Zambia