Government is in the process of strengthening the National Trust Fund for Persons with Disabilities (NTFPD) to fulfil its mandate of ensuring access to micro financing, credit linkages and enhancing enterprise development among the target group.
Eastern Province Minister Peter Phiri says it is such facilities that will enable persons with disabilities to have enhanced linkages with industries and increase their access to the labour market.
ZANIS reports the Eastern Province Minister was speaking when he graced the commemoration of the 30th International Day of Persons with Disabilities yesterday.
He said Government recognises persons with disabilities as equal partners in development and attaches great importance on the need for their inclusion in all activities especially decision-making processes as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
The Minister said that it is for this that President Hakainde Hichilema proceeded to appoint persons with disabilities in a number of key positions.
This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities was celebrated under the theme “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fuelling an Accessible and Equitable World.”
The Provincial Minister said the government in its agenda has also prioritised education as a key driver to achieving economic transformation by instituting measures that address challenges in the country.
Mr Phiri also stated that the country remains committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) as it strives to create a more sustainable future for all by addressing challenges such as poverty, inequality and exclusion.
And Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) Eastern Province coordinator Kafula Nalungwe said the notion to rate persons with disabilities as third class citizens must come to an end.
Ms Nalungwe said as their cry, persons with disabilities demand for change in the way issues affecting them are handled in society, in communities they live and at national level.
She said persons with disabilities demand that programmes of developmental nature must include the needs of disabled people at all levels.
Ms Kafula said as the country and world at large is transcending into modernity through technology, persons with disabilities want to see the benefits that will be derived from this innovation that will better their needs.