Baseline on Employment Generating Policies in Zambia

Type Working Paper
Title Baseline on Employment Generating Policies in Zambia
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL on Employment​Generating Policies in Zambia_May 2011.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
The basic fact that low income households possess few assets of their own can hardly be
contested. The most abundant resource at the disposal of the poor is their labour. Thus, a
development strategy that more fully employs a country’s human resources and raises the
returns to labour becomes a powerful tool for raising household incomes and reducing
poverty (World Bank, 2001). In other words, when employment expands along with
production, the benefits of economic growth will be widely shared. However, despite the
numerous attempts by the Government to promote formal employment in Zambia, it is very
clear that change is happening at a snail’s pace. Besides, there has been growing concern
among the citizenry regarding the quality of employment that has resulted from recent
efforts at employment generation, particularly in the context of foreign private investment
driven job creation thrusts. It is, therefore, important for policy makers, business houses and
civil society organizations to begin to act on present possibilities to ensure that formal
employment, both in terms of quantity and quality is prioritized in Zambia.
This report draws on a study undertaken by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection
(JCTR) that sought to understand the policies, strategies and practices currently being
undertaken by the Government of the Republic of Zambia in generating formal
employment. Admittedly, a question would arise as to why the focus of this study was on
formal employment when the nature of employment in Zambia includes informal
employment. This was deliberate precisely because Zambia’s formal employment is closely
associated with work that generally meets decent work1
standards i.e. work that guarantees
adequate income, social protection, the respect of fundamental rights and principles at work
as well as social dialogue (ILO, 2008:7). Besides, it is the case that Zambia provides
substantial investment incentives whose benefits in relation to formal employment creation
remain unclear. Thus, understanding why formal employment is moving at a snail’s pace
despite substantial investment incentives provided by Government required a more focussed

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