Yohane Mbeeya Moono
With the coming the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the Zambian Economy began to shrink due to reduced production in key economic sectors. This was exacerbated by the insurmountable debt mountain the country had contracted. The country’s inflation had also been going up which did not help the move of the government to recover from the economic shocks brought by the COVID-19 pandemic
The desire to move out of the debt situation was not helped by legal battles that surround the Mining Asset Konkola Copper Mines which was under Vedanta Resources. These and other external factors had put pressure on the local currency against major convertible currencies. This made the cost of doing business in Zambia higher as compared to other countries in the Southern Region of Africa.
However, from August of 2021 after the election which brought the change of government saw the local currency becoming bullish against some major convertible currencies. The Kwacha has been somewhat stable and predictable in recent months which is a good confidence booster to many businesses in the country. The inflation is slowly getting to the level the government feels it is better for the business community in the country and also improving the buying power of the citizens in the country as food prices would be stable and predictable.
Major economic pronouncements have been made in recent months with the European Union saying that Zambia would be a good green partner for the €150 Billion Green Economy Fund. Major mining houses in the country announcing new Investment Plans like the $1.35 Billion Dollars Kansanshi Mine expansion plan. The $70 Million Exploration plan by Anglo-America through ARC Minerals. Later in the Month the President is expected to Commission the New Nickel Mine in Kalumbila District in North-Western Province. Vedanta Resources is pushing to brought back to Zambia with a pledge to do better than previously. The signing of the Battery Electric Vehicle Value Chain Agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo which has potential to boost the Zambian Economy to a tune of 1Trillion Dollars is another sign of the country getting back into the Champions League of International Politics
Furthermore, ZAMBEEF has announced plans to invest $100 Million Dollars in the Mpongwe Farm. With production expected to start in Winter of 2023. The recapitalization of the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia to a tune of 694 Millions is another sign of the country getting back in Business.
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.With the country relaunching it’s national carrier, making it easy for the country to transport tourists to destinations in the country and improved Airport infrastructure at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport. The country is well positioned to receive more local and international tourists.
The New Dawn Government has chosen to channeled her bilateral and multilateral engagements through Economic Diplomacy and this seems to paying the dividends as the country’s international diplomatic rating going on to another level. More countries around the World are now looking at Zambia as a key strategic partner in Trade and Investment in key economic sectors
We can safely say the country is ready to do business again and the country is now back in Business. Zambia is back in the Champions League of International Politics