President Hakainde Hichilema has unveiled a significant initiative aimed at bolstering food security and reducing mealie meal prices in Zambia. In his address during the official opening of the third session of the 13th National Assembly in Lusaka, President Hichilema announced that the government would establish a credit window for the public sector to enhance the production of maize and other crops.

This credit window will offer public sector participants access to funding at concessional rates, facilitating their engagement in agriculture and contributing to the nation’s agricultural output. President Hichilema emphasized the government’s commitment to promoting the planting of crops twice a year, a move intended to increase crop yields and drive down the price of essential food items.

In his address, President Hichilema also touched upon another pressing national issue—the ownership and future plans for Mopani Copper Mines. He assured the nation that talks regarding the mining company’s fate have advanced significantly and that an announcement is imminent. The President underscored his administration’s determination to revitalize the mining sector, a key contributor to the national treasury.

Furthermore, President Hichilema revealed plans to conduct a national geological mapping exercise to assess Zambia’s mineral resources comprehensively and devise strategies for their sustainable exploitation.

In the realm of governance and decentralization, the President provided an update on the devolution of power from the Central Government. He stated that 34,000 civil servants have been attached to local authorities, facilitating the transfer of responsibilities to local levels of government. Local authorities have already begun executing some of the functions delegated by the Central Government, marking a significant step towards the effective implementation of the decentralization policy.