The highly anticipated 8th National Planning Conference, scheduled to take place from 9th to 11th August 2023 in Livingstone, Zambia, is set to be a pivotal moment for the country. With the esteemed presence of Republican President Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the conference aims to explore crucial pathways towards a sustainable future, particularly in the areas of green energy, smart cities, and electric mobility.
Engineer Bornface Zulu, a new energy science and technology expert, emphasizes the need for Zambia to prioritize investments in green capital, smart cities, and electric mobility. The fast-growing capital city, Lusaka, is grappling with increasing congestion levels, necessitating sustainable and eco-friendly transportation solutions. Electric mobility, including electric railway systems, presents a viable and environmentally friendly means of improving Lusaka’s transport system while reducing its carbon footprint.
The conference will shed light on the importance of investing in green capital to boost efficiency, productivity, and environmental conservation. Emphasizing renewable energy sources, green building, and sustainable land use practices can lead to both economic prosperity and environmental protection.
Smart cities and smart grids will also be in focus, as city councils and municipal councils play a crucial role in adopting and implementing sustainable practices nationwide. Embracing these technologies can enhance Zambia’s efficiency, sustainability, and overall quality of life for its citizens.
Engineer Bornface Zulu urges prompt action, as climate change already poses significant challenges to Zambia’s socio-economic and environmental landscape. Delaying sustainable initiatives could lead to irreversible consequences.
To achieve its goals, Zambia will require research and development centers in cities like Lusaka and Ndola, providing technical expertise, education, and training to support green economy development.
The return on investment for these sustainable initiatives is substantial, with potential benefits for both the government and private sectors. Implementing effective policies, including incentives, tax breaks, and regulations, can drive green investments and foster sustainable practices.
A wide array of stakeholders, including government officials, business leaders, academics, civil society, and the general public, will play pivotal roles in ensuring Zambia seizes the opportunities presented by the conference. The involvement of the People’s Republic of China, given its expertise in green technology and successful investments in African nations, could also prove instrumental.
Zambia has the chance to draw valuable lessons from countries such as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who have successfully developed green economies and implemented effective environmental mitigation measures. By following in their footsteps, Zambia can emerge as a prominent leader in sustainable development in Africa.
In conclusion, the 8th National Planning Conference in Zambia is poised to chart a sustainable path forward. By embracing green energy, smart cities, and electric mobility, Zambia can bolster economic growth, create jobs, and protect its invaluable natural resources while making significant strides towards environmental conservation. With strategic policies, collaborations, and investments, Zambia has the potential to become a trailblazer in sustainable development worldwide.