Yohane Mbeeya Moono
During the reign of President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, Zambia had just reached the Highly Indebted Completion Point (HIPC) and the New Deal began to implement it’s economic blueprint. The Economic Blueprint of the Mwanawasa reign centred on Foreign Direct Investment in the Mining Sector and Other Sectors such as Tourism and Agriculture. The Economic Blueprint led to the re-introduction of the Farmer Input Support Programme and the Winter Maize Project to make Zambia Food Secure. Serve for the cruel hand of death, this economic blueprint was cut short.
In 2011, the Patriotic Front under Michael Chilufya Sata came with the Economic Blueprint of infrastructure development as the sure way of opening up Zambia to more economic activities. The Country got some Eurobonds in order to achieve this set out plan. Even after his death, the Patriotic Front led government continued on the trajectory of infrastructure development. However, the debt contracted for infrastructure development did not produce all the earmarked economic projections.
In 2021, the Zambia electorates decided to give the Leadership mantle to President Hakainde Hichilema and the United Party for National Development. They promised to fix the economy by implementing fiscal discipline in the management of national resources. 10 months into their reign, the Zambian economic prospects are looking positively encouraging. The two sectors that have the capacity to bring Zambia to the level she desires seem to be hitting the right notes.
Here is a look at the Prospects
1. Kansanshi Mine owned by First Quantum Minerals recently announced the approving of an Investment amounting to US$ 1.3 Billion to boost Copper production in the North-Western Province of Zambia
2. Anglo-America a mining giant which once controlled major mining assets in Zambia announced it is Investing US$70 Million in the Exploration of Some Precious Minerals in North-Western Zambia. This would be done through ARC Minerals
3. Vedanta Resources which owned Konkola Copper Mines before the Liquidation process in 2019 and subsequent Legal Battles with the Zambian government is trying to Coax the Zambian government by pledging Fresh and Improved terms once allowed back and pledging close to US$3 Billion worth of Investment in the Mine.
4. ZAMBEEF has announced a US$10 Million expansion plan that is aimed at doubling it’s Mpongwe Farm crop production while adding associated value and capacity to the company’s stock feed, meat processing and retailing operations. The company plans to double it’s Wheat and Soyabean production. The first crop from the expanded operations is expected to planted in Winter of 2023 with the capacity upgrades to the milling and processing facilities running in parallel.
5. In 2021 the Zambia Development Agency signed some Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union and the United Arab Emirates to see Zambian avocados exported to Europe and United Arab Emirates. The Memorandum of Understanding is not being implemented as Zambian Avocados have began to hit the European Market and the United Arab Emirates market as well.
6. The signing of the Battery Electric Vehicle Value Chain Agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo is another excellent economic prospect that shows that Zambia is positioning herself to the major economic activities that lie ahead
The Economic Blueprint of the United Party for National Development led government seems to falling in the right place and hitting the right notes. Zambia needs to consistent economic policies that are going to ensure that positive economic gains continue to be made by the country. A glance at Zambia shows that the Country could have a brighter economic outlook.