Honorable Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr. Situmbeke Musokotwane, MP, delivered a speech at the official opening of the Annual Risk Conference in Zambia, held on November 2nd, 2023.
The conference, hosted in collaboration with the Institute of Risk Management in Zambia, brought together government officials, experts, and stakeholders to discuss the theme, “Managing Tomorrow’s Risks Together, a Game Changer for Value Creation.”
In his address, Dr. Musokotwane highlighted the importance of the conference and expressed his gratitude to the Institute of Risk Management and corporate sponsors for their support.
He emphasized that the event occurred at a critical time when Zambia was undergoing economic transformation to unlock its potential and improve the livelihood of its citizens.
The Minister acknowledged that despite the country’s positive economic growth in the medium term, Zambia still faced various risks, including those related to climate change, the Russia-Ukraine war, inflation, exchange rate depreciation, and a high cost of living.
Fiscal risks stemming from high public debt levels, poor performance of state-owned enterprises, and emergency spending on natural disasters were also highlighted.
Dr. Musokotwane pointed out the government’s commitment to improving resilience in the face of these risks.
He discussed the importance of public-private partnerships, emphasizing the need to manage risks related to contract management in such partnerships.
The financial sector’s innovation and growth were also addressed, with a specific focus on the risks associated with cybercrime.
The Minister stressed the need for proactive and agile risk management, urging institutions to adopt a holistic approach to enterprise-wide risk management.
He underlined the significance of integrating risk management into key business processes and governance structures.
To promote the risk management profession, the government had established a Risk Management Coordinating Office and created various risk management positions in public bodies.
Dr. Musokotwane highlighted milestones in risk management in the public sector, including the legal requirement to integrate risk management in all public bodies and the development of a risk management framework and guidelines.
He mentioned that risk management had been integrated into the 8th National Development Plan and the 2024 National Budget.
The Minister encouraged professionals to foster a culture of risk awareness, provide resources for risk management, and strengthen oversight bodies to demand accountability in risk management.
He acknowledged that implementing risk management would face challenges and called for collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure its success.
In conclusion, Dr. Musokotwane expressed hope that the Annual Risk Conference would facilitate the assessment and management of major risks in Zambia and contribute to the development of risk management practices.
He officially declared the conference open and wished the participants a successful and insightful event.