OECD's assessment of Zambia's economic outlook for 2009 was released last week. Quite useful in terms of bringing together most of the facts, figures and issues we have discussed on this blog in 2009.
Interesting to see how Zambia has managed to surpass the GDPs of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe in the first 9 years of this century. Technically Zambia is now the third largest economy in the region after South Africa and Angola. To make further progress we need to improve the road network within Zambia especially interprovincial connections. There is also the small matter of restructuring the communications and electricity market.
Frank,How perceptive!I have to say I nearly always missing the "aggregate figure" because I always care more about the individual. So the GDP per capita is what I look at! But you are absolutely right. There's a reason why we care about India and China....its the size of their economies...and with that comes LONG TERM potential for investors etc. Incidentally Zambia's market size is one of the reasons for why I believe we are probably better positioned to regulate FDI than other nations....By the way, are you still maintaining your skeptism over Angola's growth trajectory? I have full confidence in that economy..I am even contemplating looking for a plot of land there...and retire there...in decades to come!
Cho,Indeed, I am still very skeptical about Angola's growth path. My concern is that they seem to concentrate on 'prestige' projects. All those new glimming skyscrapers and mansions with swimming pools being put up by using oil money will need to be supported by a 'production sector'. The rentals being charged for these properties is crazy-$5000 to $10 000 monthly for apartments! This is the same trap Nigeria fell into in the 70's. It is no use imitating the emirates in the Gulf. These are very small countries and they can afford to be extravagant. I would have liked to see the Angola govt spending money on Agriculture. This should be a mixture of large and small scale Agriculture. This will help to uplift the majority of Angolans from poverty. Currently the majority of Angolans live in the shanty towns of Luanda, Benguela and Lobito. The countryside is deserted. I thought it would have been prudent to start resettling these people in the countryside by opening up these areas to agricultural development. A lot of Angolan refugees in Zambia's Western and North Western province would rather be in Zambia rather than in oil -rich Angola because they know that there is nothing in Angola for them. The so called development is concentrated in the coastal towns. The eastern part of the country has not been touched by the Angolan miracle. Cho, you must be very brave and well oiled to contemplate living your retirement years in Angola...one of the most expensive countries in the world.
Good article on Angola's economic development:http://www.cfr.org/publication/16820/Angola is still in the rehabilitation phase before the development phase.There are a lot of large infrastructure and public work projects.Millions of landmines remain in the countryside making farming and travel dangerous.http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLE866661Lack of technical capacity to implement projects. Building a more educated and skilled population will take years. "The greatest deficiency in the country is institutional and human capital."
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