FAO Regional Office for Africa

FAO strengthens capacity on poverty analysis for policy and programme design

Supporting national efforts to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

25 March 2020, Lusaka - Despite remarkable achievements in addressing extreme poverty, 40% of the Zambian population is extremely poor. The rural poor face particularly acute challenges, including fragile and degrading natural resources, limited access to markets, finance, social services, improved technologies and infrastructure.

In order to address these disparities, Zambian government officials, including directors and technicians from a multidisciplinary range of Ministries, successfully completed the Executive Programme (EP),”Strengthening the use of poverty analysis to achieve SDGs 1 and 2,” in support of national efforts to achieve shared prosperity and the SDG Agenda.

These participants are part of 26 government officials and managers from Zambia and Ghana who participated in the training organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the International Policy Center for Inclusive Growth (IPC_IG) and the International Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in the latter part of 2019.

In a closing ceremony  the Permanent Secret ary in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS), Pamela Kabamba handed over certificates to those who completed all three phases of the Executive Programme.

Working towards achieving SDG 1 and 2

This initiative is hosted under FAO’s Strategic Programme three (3) “Reduce Rural Poverty” as part of its efforts to effectively support countries in achieving the SDGs by adopting multi-sectoral approaches to poverty reduction, emphasizing the interdependence and linkages between poverty, food security and nutrition.

The FAO Country Representative George Okech highlighted the challenge of poverty in Zambia amidst the significant economic progress made by the country. Okech noted the impressive efforts by the Government towards an integrated multisectoral development approach in recognition of the multiple causes of poverty. He further noted that economic growth by itself has proved insufficient to combat poverty and that like in many other African countries, poverty is largely evident in rural areas with most of the incomes of rural households dependent on agriculture. Therefore, the agriculture sector has a key role to play in not only creating more jobs but also improving the working conditions and the productivity potential of the agricultural workers.

The Permanent Secretary congratulated the graduands while noting the rigorous nature of the course and hailed the collaboration between the Government and FAO in facilitating the course and hoped that such collaboration would continue.

Mrs. Kabamba was impressed by the action plans that were developed as a result of the course around the complementary programmes to the Social Cash Transfer programme and requested the Permanent Secretary’s office from respective ministries to be availed with briefings for them to follow up on the action plans and ensure  they are pursued and effectively rolled out. The permanent secretary was delighted by the fact that the programme involved eight ministries and one agency and noted that this approach was in line with the integrated multi sectoral development approach. In her concluding remarks, Mrs. Kabamba   urged the graduands to meet regularly to review and make progress on their action plans while mentioning that the online course would be available to the public from the 23rd of March 2020.