As Zambia turns 50, planes by Government to launch the new K50 note has finally come to fruitation ahead of the Country Jubilee Celebration which falls on Friday, October 24, 2014.
In an occasion dubbed as the 50Th Independence Anniversary, the launch of the new K50 note is an indication for Zambians to renew their determination for economic freedom.
The new K50 note which carries portraits of Zambia’s five Presidents since the country attained Independence in 1964 bears the same features as the current notes except that the new ones have portraits and the wording 50th Independence Anniversary which has replaced the Leopard depicted at the back of the current circulating K50 note.
Speaking during the launch, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said that the portraits on the new note signifies the opportunities for citizens to realize that they now have the power to determine their own destiny.
Zambia has not only been a beacon of peace on the African continent but that of economic prosperity, he says.
Over the past decade, the country has enjoyed economic growth, says Chikwanda adding that it is amongst the 10 fastest growing economies of the world.
“Zambia has seen growth rates of around six percent, single digit inflation, falling interest rates and increased diversification from copper to other sectors of the economy, “he says.
Chikwanda explains further that other major developments over the past decade include an emerge of a strong private sector and an increased copper production which according to the Zambia Chamber of Mines has grown to u$$12.4 billion investment since privatization in 2000.
He adds that the country has also increased reliance on domestic financing of the budget and reduction in donor dependence to a low 2.6 percent of the 2015 budget from the 28 percent of 2005.
“The performance recorded translates into prosperity on the part of the citizens, “he says adding that it was regrettable that in spite of all the efforts, poverty levels have remained relatively high.
Chikwanda confirms that poverty levels are around 62 percent with extreme poverty around 40 percent which government seeks to rectify without delay.
For this reason, Chikwanda says the focus for the Government in the revised sixth national development plan is on addressing the deficiencies in the social sectors of education and health.
“In launching the note, I am paying tribute to the leaders that have steered the country to this day in the face of adversity but remained resolute in maintaining a peaceful environment which is enabling Zambians to build on the economic gains to higher heights, “he says.
During the launch of the new note, Government in conjunction with the Central Bank issued the new K50 not, a commemorative one to run side by side (the legal tender) with the old note of the same value, he said
It is important, says Chikwanda to recorgnise the contributions of all Zambians and indeed the five Presidents, living and deceased but served Zambia through the 50 years of peace, freedom and prosperity.