It must be noted that March 2020 remains the darkest month in the economy of the world. The events of this month were quite catastrophic as the World was not ready for an emergency economic shock. The World was completely closed and business came to a standstill as the world grappled with the new infectious disease which was later declared a pandemic, the Coronavirus famously known as the Covid-19.
Lockdown and are stringent measures were imposed in various countries, with airspaces also heavily impacted by the disease. Oil prices plunged to a record low as production exceeded demand thereby going against the rules of economics.
It is almost 2 years now that the virus is upon us and governments world over have agreed that it is now inevitable that the virus will easily but that it has come to stand that life should continue in the New Normal. Going by a Business concept that Life is a Going Concern which it will continue to exist for a foreseeable period of time.
To fully recover from the economic stress the world experienced during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, governments have embarked on massive economic measures aimed at improving the economic outlook of their countries and Zambia is no exceptional.
To this effect, it is very prudent that Zambia does implement the 24-hour economy policy. This is a key aspect to the economic transformation of the country. Points to note about the 24-hour our economy is that Production will be increased. The production of goods in the country in all sectors is going to be increased which is good for the economy set on recovery mode and the much needed services will be readily available to the general public and the business community. Increased production of economic activities in the country is going to prove key to the much needed Economic Development after the economic stress brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, the informal sector which was the worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic due to the unpredictable nature of the disease, will also greatly benefit from the implementation of the 24-hour economy. This sector remains a Critical and Crucial component of economic development of any country. With the creation of the ministry of Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Development, the country should see the benefits of the of the formation of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission ( CEEC) and other economic statutory bodies of the government through the promotion of the informal sector by providing a conducive environment for the private sector to develop in a 24-hour economy.
With Zambia set on the recovery mode, this sector is going to play a crucial and critical role in ensuring that Services are readily available to the public and the business community. The sector would also help the government to bridge the unemployment challenge that was brought about by the coming of the pandemic. In a 24 hour economy, Government and the Private sector would need to implement the shift system to ensure that services and production of goods in all sectors of the economy are provided and available on a 24 hour basis and daily. This would mean also broadening the workforce in order to meet the increasing demands of goods and services in the country. It is therefore incumbent upon the government and the employers in the informal sector to see the need of broadening their workforce in order to fully realize the benefits of a 24-hour economy.
The transport sector is one critical sector that needs to be given the necessary licence to start operating in a 24 hour economy. This is because they are the Crucial players in the delivery of goods and services. The wheels of the economy need to be moving all the time in order to ensure that the economy and the country does not miss out on the necessary revenue for economic transformation.
Additionally, the 24-hour economy would also require that the country improves it’s security system. Digital Technological security system need to be enhanced as well as the security personnel need to be adequate to meet the demands of the 24-hour economy.
Economic Transformation is possible based on the policies the government is going to implement particularly with regards to the informal sector. The 24-hour economy is a good step in transforming our economy.