Zambia Commerce Minister to speak at high-level segment of UNCTAD Board

13 September 2012

The Honorable Robert K. Sichinga, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Zambia will be addressing the high-level segment of the 59th session of UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board on Monday, 17 September.

The topic of the high-level segment is: Growth with jobs for poverty reduction: What can Africa learn from other regions?

Under this agenda item, the issue of why Africa’s poverty levels remain excessively high despite a relatively strong economic performance over the last decade will be examined.

One of the characteristics of the recent growth experience in Africa is that it has not created a large number of jobs that could have helped the poor to earn a living through wage income. This contrasts with the experience of other developing regions, where employment generation and poverty reduction have accompanied broader structural transformation.

Factors usually cited to explain why Africa is the region where economic growth has had the weakest effect on poverty reduction generally include high population growth; inadequate job creation in sectors accessible to the poor; weak infrastructural investment; and, the failure of growth in natural-resource rich and capital-intensive “enclave sectors” to create spread and spillover effects in the broader economy.

Zambia, a democracy in southern Africa that last year posted 7.5 percent growth to continue a sustained economic upswing, is seeking partnerships, not handouts.
Robert K. Sichinga   
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry   
of Zambia   

Participants at the high-level segment are expected to reflect on their countries’ experiences in making growth more inclusive and broadening the productive capacities on which growth is based. In particular, they will be asked to comment on the internal and external macroeconomic conditions for inclusive growth and on government policies, including redistributive policies, to foster the generation of new productive capacities.

The Trade and Development Report 2012 – Overview and the Economic Development in Africa Report 2012 will serve as background documentation for this item of the TDB.

Robert Sichinga
The Honorable Robert K. Sichinga, Minister of Commerce,
Trade and Industry of Zambia

The Honorable Robert Sichinga, MP was appointed Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry in September last year.

He holds a chartered accountancy from the City of Birmingham Polytechnic/University of Central England, and a post-graduate diploma from Harvard University's Graduate School of Business, Boston.

He has 38 years of hands-on experience in financial control and general management in both the public and private sectors.

He is the Founding Chairperson for Transparency International Zambia and Integrity Foundation.

He was also the owner and manager of four business enterprises: Productivity Computer Systems (ICT); Makuni Company (timber processing and products); Health-Mate Pharmaceutical and Medical Company; and Innovative Management Consultants.