What is the future for Zambia’s economy?

The Zambian Economist at the Crossroads of Global Business and a Political Activist


Zambia’s economy is on the cusp of growth. It is not growing fast enough to replace the mining sector. But, that is set to change.

The global economy is set to remain sluggish for at least another year; this would be the longest period of sluggishness for seven years. That said, a sharp deceleration of growth is not on the cards, but growth in 2018-19 could be as low as 2.5 per cent (up from 1.7 per cent last year) and not enough to make a dent in the deficit that would make it difficult to meet the 2019 fiscal targets.

The most likely scenario foreseen by experts is a sharp deceleration from the pace of recent growth of about 3.5 per cent and a decelerating path to the end of the fiscal target horizon. That being said, a major concern is that the economy may be on the cusp of growth when it faces headwinds from the slowdown in China (in particular its trade war) and the disruption to global trade due to the coronavirus outbreak – both of which will continue to affect the global economy in the near and long term.

However, the question on everyone’s mind is: what is the future for Zambia’s economy?

Zambia has experienced some good times, but also some poor times too. We had, up until the early 1990s, a very vibrant economic growth rate of 15 per cent. We also had some very good years, with the global economic average of four per cent or so. That was when people didn’t worry about the safety of food and other essentials. All of a sudden, though, people were forced to go about life in a more cautious manner.

In 1998, when the global economy grew by 4.5 per cent a year, it was the highest rate for over six decades.

In the 2000s, some people started thinking about the value of growth.

In 2011, things started to fall apart. The global economy dropped by a whopping 7

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