ECONOMIC FIXATION: Requires a Disciplined Approach


By
Yohane Mbeeya Moono

In November of 2020, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu launched the economic recovery plan which spelt out the country would catapult herself out of the debt mountain it had acquired.

However, the August, 12 2021 elections saw a change of government which ushered in the United Party for National Development government under the leadership of His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema. The Hakainde Hichilema government followed the same trajectory as the Patriotic Front government by seeking out the International Monetary Fund bailout

The UPND led government has managed to level a staff-level agreement with the IMF. The country has been locked in discussions with its creditors so that country can access the bailout package for the economic transformation of the country.
But what does the country need to do in order to attain the economic prosperity it desires:

REVAMPING THE MINING SECTOR
The minister of finance in the budget speech in October, 2021 hinted that the country is targeting to produce 3 million tonnes of copper per year in the next decade. This target will require strategic investments in the mining sector. The country recently signed a Battery Electric Vehicle Agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Agreement is aimed at improving the economic welfare of the two countries that house about 70 % of the world’s cobalt. First Quantum Minerals in the North-Western Province announced a new investment in its Kansanshi Mine Project to a tune of 1.35 Million Dollars as well as open up an online Nickel Mine which will the first of kind in the country. Anglo- American is also coming back to explore some mineral opportunities in this mineral rich country. Vedanta Resources which previously controlled Konkola Copper Mines is pledging an improved investment return once allowed to come back in the country.
The country also needs to end the legal battles it engaged in with the investment in the country’s biggest mine asset. Apart from that, the country needs to prioritize the local contractors for contracts in the mine sector so that the economy of the mining towns can boosted and that will ultimately lead to economic boost at a national level. The country needs consistent and predictable taxes for the industry

AGRICULTURE SECTOR

ZAMBEEF has announced a US$100 Million expansion plan that is aimed at doubling its 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 its Wheat and Soya-bean production. The first crop from the expanded operations is expected to plant in winter of 2023 with the capacity upgrades to the milling and processing facilities running in parallel.

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 begun to hit the European Market and the United Arab Emirates market as well.
The recapitalization of the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia to a tune of 694 Million is exactly what the Agricultural sector needs and this should be able the company self-sustainable and become a serious competitor in the Industry.

TOURISM
Zambia’s tourism industry contributed 7% of GDP (USD 1,701 million) and 7.2% of total employment (469 thousand jobs), whereas international visitors spent USD 849 million, representing 10% of Zambia’s total exports in 2019. Tourism remains the gem which has not been fully polished by Zambia and Zambians.
Zambia needs an aggressive marketing strategy which will prioritize the many tourist attractions that are endowed in different parts of the country. The diversification agenda can be complete if the country aggressively market her tourism potential.

The three mentioned sectors have the potential to make Zambia a prosperous nation provided that the Government adopts a Disciplined Approach. Through heightened fiscal discipline and a highly disciplined policy direction the country is headed for better and sustainable Economic Fixation

Published by MyWritings

A Writer, A Diplomat in Waiting, Climate Change Advocate and a Football Administrator

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