The United Party for National Development (UPND) has promised to create an additional 500,000 jobs for Zambians within the next five years, provided the party is successful in forming a government after August’s elections.

Writing on his Facebook page, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said the party would achieve this by ringfencing certain sectors of the economy exclusively for locals.

“To create 500,000 jobs in five years, UPND will localise production of goods and services by reserving certain sectors of the economy like small scale farming for locals.”
The opposition leader went on to question how – under the current administration – a business of 500 broiler chickens can be called “foreign direct investment”.

Zambia’s unemployment rate has risen sharply in the ten years since the Patrioti Front (PF) entered government, climbing from 7.85% at the beginning of 2012 to 12.17% in 2021.

The country has also seen a large influx of foreign owned businesses – particularly Chinese enterprises – which have an appalling track record of mistreating native Zambian workers.

Speaking at the launch of the Patriotic Front’s new manifesto on Wednesday, President Lungu laid out his plan to revitalise the Zambian economy over the next five years, however he failed to mention unemployment once in his speech.

With many Zambians struggling to find work and provide for their families, the issue of employment seems likely to hang over both parties in the lead up to polling day on August 12.


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