President Hakainde Hichilema today held an end of year press conference at which he addressed a number of issues affecting the country.

The following are the highlights:

 Government takes a posture to address the many challenges faced by the majority Zambians.

 Government will focus on economic growth for social support which will benefit many underprivileged in society.

 Zambia has made tremendous progress in debit restructuring, affirming that 98 percent of official bilateral creditors have agreed to the content in the debt restructuring programme.

 The President has revealed that once debt restructuring is achieved, Zambia will only be required to pay US$75 million annually. He, however, indicated that should debt restructuring fail, the country will be required to pay US$750 million per year.

 The Head of State reiterated that the US$1.3 billion from IMF to ZAMBIA aimed at supporting the country’s homegrown 8th National Development Plan that seeks to entrench macroeconomic stability, attain debt and fiscal sustainability, foster inclusive growth, and improve the livelihood of the Zambian people, especially the vulnerable is at zero interest rate.

 Pensioners of over a twenty-year period have been paid all their dues and that pensioners will be paid their monies within 90 days of their retirement.

 The President also expressed happiness that citizens are prudently utilizing the 20 percent NAPSA partial withdraws.

 The President said the visa waiver in Zambia has triggered an increase in the number of tourists and investors coming in the country because government has created an environment that allows visitors to come to Zambia to sample many tourist attractions and unique cultural heritage sites.

 He urged the opposition not to continue being a stumbling block when it comes to development but instead work with government to improve the livelihoods of the people.

 The law on CDF to be changed to remove all the bottlenecks for easy utilization of the funds.

 Equalization funds working well.

 Government to build 125 modern palaces across the country.

 Decentralization Policy is yielding positive results.

 Warned all UPND members that once found on the other side of the law they are on their own.

 The Attorney General’s office to be decentralized saying there will be Attorney General’s Chambers across the country.

 The President further revealed that all offers for the Land that was dubiously acquired have been cancelled.

 Those that were engaged in corruption will be tried in Court and their cases concluded within five months.

 Called on civil servants to venture into agriculture using the agricultural credit facility created by government.

 Ten million tonnes of maize to be produced per annum.

 Both human beings and animals consume 3 million tonnes of maize and while the 7 million tonnes surplus will be sold to neighboring countries.

 Zambia in 2024 will start producing top dressing fertilizer.

 Zambia by March 2024 is expecting to produce 50,000 metric tonnes of early maize and that every month will be a planting and harvesting month.

 12 high value properties including graders were recovered in the on-going recovery of stolen properties.

 Parliamentary approval needed for government to borrow to avoid reckless borrowing of the past.

 Government to connect internet to all Government secondary schools to make E-learning possible.

 All constituencies in Zambia will have free Star Link connections.

 The Minimum Wage and PAYE was adjusted to alleviate pressure on the people as the country goes through the process of debt restructuring.

 Government is bringing health centres closer to the people because health is a critical area.

 Government is looking for local manufacturers to produce drugs in Zambia locally.

 President Hichilema stated that Zambia is now exporting basal fertilizer to Neighbouring countries and revealed that in 2024 Zambia will have a plant which will be producing top dressing fertilizer.

 The President further noted that E- agriculture has been introduced to ensure that farmers can learn new techniques to improve their farming.

 President Hichilema further stated that the new education curriculum will allow young people to study agriculture, mining, brick laying, engineering at an early stage.

 Govt has entered into an agreement with International Resources Holding (IRH) to which IRH has committed to invest a total of US $1.1 billion into Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) as a Strategic Equity Partner. Govt thru ZCCM will retain a 49% stake equity stake in MCM while IRH will have a 51% stake in MCM.

 President Hakainde Hichilema signed the Access to Information Bill into law.

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