Zambian Finance Minister Ng'andu Magande said the kwacha, which has gained 13 percent against the dollar in the past six months, will continue to strengthen as copper production increases and metal prices gain.
Exporters should learn to adapt to the stronger currency as the government has no plans to ``interfere in the market'' to curb the kwacha's advance, Magande said in an interview in Maputo, Mozambique today during the annual meeting of the African Development Bank.
Zambia, Africa's biggest copper producer, will probably mine 700,000 metric tons of the metal this year, a 40 percent increase from last year, Magande said. Export revenue has also been boosted by the copper price, which gained 19 percent in the past six months and reaching a record $8,880 a ton in London on April 17.
``I have warned Zambians that the currency will continue to appreciate,'' Magande said. ``In 2010, we're going to produce 1 million tons of copper and with the price around $6,000, then you're talking about $6 billion from just copper. By that time, we'll be producing nickel, uranium and other metals as well.''