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Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Burden of Zambia


The graphic above summarises Zambia's burden. Zambia is growing and at some incredible pace. In 2012 it is estimated to have grown by 7.3%, with only Angola and Tanzania growing better (8% each). Far higher than the Sub-Saharan average 4.8%. The other point is that neighbouring countries are all growing at fast rate, which bodes well for regional infrastructure investment. As a landlocked country our economic prospects are heavily tied to those of our neighbours. The future looks bright on the growth side.

Unfortunately, the reality is that despite all this growth, it has not delivered reduction in poverty. 2 in 3 Zambians are living below the poverty line. These  measures become even worse when we speak in terms of “human development” or use alternative measures of poverty. For example, an alternative household vulnerability measure shows poverty levels in our rural areas at about 80-90%. We have a situation in Zambia in which the proceeds of growth has not been shared. We have growth but no development. Across income groups and across regions Zambia is becoming more unequal.

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