Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014
Friday, 12 December 2014
Monday, 8 December 2014
Friday, 5 December 2014
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Monday, 1 December 2014
Monday, 24 November 2014
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Under [Sata’s] able leadership and guidance, the economy grew by more than 6 percent per annum, well above the Sub- Saharan Africa average, while inflation has been contained within single-digits. The external sector, especially non-traditional exports grew significantly with agriculture exports exceeding US$1 billion dollars, the highest in the history of the country. This reflects his will for the country to diversify the economy..
As Zambians we also witnessed an unprecedented focus on capital investment in social and economic infrastructure, particularly in health, education, roads, rails, and energy sectors. Recognizing the high unemployment levels in the country particularly among our youth, the Government did put in place an Industrialization and Job Creation Strategy. This strategy is bearing fruit as seen through a sustained increase in additional jobs and incomes, which is important in lowering poverty...
As a mark of growing investor confidence, Foreign Direct Investment has continued to grow reaching the peak of US $1.73 billion in 2012, the highest in 12 years. The investments have been broad-based-covering Government’s priority economic sectors, namely agriculture, tourism, labour and export-led manufacturing, mining and construction. This is a reflection of the improved investment environment in the country, made possible by policy consistency and workable pro-private sector strategies..
(Source: “Zambia's economic performance under President Michael Sata”, Ministry of Finance, 30 October 2014)
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Editor's note: BOZ Governor Michael Gondwe yesterday delivered the following Monetary Policy Statement. It is intended as a quarterly snapshot of the state of the economy, with particular focus on the monetary side.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
“It is time to strengthen our economy to allow for job creation, stable prices and wealth redistribution. We can only do this through prudent economic management. We need a strong and stable economy to support our middle class and SMEs which are basically struggling for survival. The middle class and SMEs are key to economic growth. We must support our economic development with a strong agriculture sector, free appropriate and good quality education, and quality healthcare”
“We must continue with the infrastructure development but at an accelerated pace. Infrastructure is the conduit for economic development. I have always maintained that where a good road goes, development goes. Nonetheless, infrastructure development must be done in such a manner that it does not hurt economic fundamentals. We must increase our revenue collection capacity to fund our infrastructure as opposed to borrowing expensive money. And in some cases we must partner with the private sector (Private Public Partnerships) so as to reduce pressure on the public purse”
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Monday, 10 November 2014
Editor's note: The article below is taken from a VoxEU publication 'Drug quality and global trade' by Attaran et al. It finds that drug quality is poorer among Indian-labelled drugs purchased inside African countries than among those purchased inside India or middle-income countries.
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
This is the second largest number of inmates released on presidential amnesty in the history of Zambia after more than 2,318 were released in 2012, also by Michael Sata. The total number of criminals allowed back on Zambian streets since the PF came to power now stands at around 5,700.
The driving reason for the releases are that "the conditions in the prisons have always been a concern of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, and this move is in line with the Patriotic Front manifesto of turning the prisons into correctional facilities”', according to the Home Affairs Minister Simbyakula. In short we need these large amnesties because of appalling prison conditions.
Monday, 3 November 2014
Sunday, 2 November 2014
Saturday, 1 November 2014
Friday, 31 October 2014
Thursday, 30 October 2014
In 1917, a philosopher by the name Alfred North Whitehead warned about the ill-fated destiny of any given country that does not make meaningful investments in its people’s education that is perhaps truer today than it was during his time; he said: “In the conditions of modern life, the rule is absolute ... [a nation] which does not value [education] ... is doomed.”
Accessible and high-quality education can, therefore, be said to be the most important investment a government can make, simply because it is practically not possible for any country to succeed in the pursuit of other human endeavors without adequate pools of skilled and enlightened citizens.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Fellow country men and women.As you are aware, His Excellency Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia has been receiving medical attention in London, in the United Kingdom. He left Zambia with the first lady and other close members of the family on October 20, 2014.However, it is with a very heavy heart that i address you today, to inform the nation that our beloved President and Leader, His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata has passed on.The head of state passed on, on October 28, 2014 in London at 23:11 hours Zambian time at King Edward VII Hospital Beaumont, Central London. His spouse, the First Lady of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata, his son the Mayor of Lusaka, Mulenga Sata and others were present at the bedside at the time of his passing on.President Sata was born on July 6, 1937. Mr. Sata became the fifth president of Zambia on September 23 2011 after a popular poll.President Sata’s demise is deeply regretted. During this difficult period, I urge all of you to remain calm, united and peaceful during this very difficult period. The nation will be kept informed of other details regarding the funeral and burial arrangements.God bless ZambiaDr. Roland MsiskaSecretary to Cabinet
Saturday, 25 October 2014
A culture of living hand-to-mouth does not safeguard the interest of posterity. We have the duty and responsibility to secure the future of the next generations. In this regard, I have allocated K100 million for the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund. Going forward, a significant proportion of the dividends from state-owned enterprises that will fall under the Industrial Development Corporation [IDC] will form part of the fund"
Friday, 24 October 2014
Friday, 17 October 2014
I have been forgetting to share this document, though I suspect many of you may already have downloaded it from other sources. This is the plan that defines what the Patriotic Front are allegedly aiming for in Zambia as they seek re-election in 2016.
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Sunday, 12 October 2014
A visual representation of the Budget yesterday as delivered. I thought it was worth showing how the word "continue" stands out. The main surprise is how often the word governance is used!
Economist | Researcher
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014
Friday, 10 October 2014
Economist | Researcher
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014
Monday, 6 October 2014
Sunday, 5 October 2014
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Sunday, 28 September 2014
Monday, 22 September 2014
Saturday, 20 September 2014
Editor's note: Fitch today affirmed Zambia's credit rating at 'B', and revised the outlook to positive owing largely to the rebased GDP figures, government revoking BoP regulations and promises to consolidate fiscal spending as part of the ongoing discussion with the IMF on a new austerity programme. The Fitch assessment does not appear to reflect current information on some issues so some the risks it flags requires deeper consideration.
Friday, 19 September 2014
Editor's note : President Michael Sata earlier today delivered the highly anticipated speech to parliament set out the government's agenda in the next parliamentary year. Full speech below, with minor editorial edits for ease of reading.I am privileged and honoured today to be with you and the members of parliament on this important day of our national calendar to officially open the fourth session of the eleventh national assembly. It is now three years since the patriotic front government took office, and there are only two years before the next elections.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Monday, 15 September 2014
Friday, 12 September 2014
“It is our hope also that the government will help companies like Times of Zambia where workers have gone for three or four months without getting paid. Workers have been patient, we have met the labour and information ministries but the request we made to the Ministry of Finance is still pending and they are the ones who hold the key...If this money is paid, then the Times of Zambia can also manage to pay the workers"LEONARD HIKAUMBA(Source: The Post)
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
"Will public investment in infrastructure be sufficient for unleashing faster economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa? The evidence, both academic and empirical seems to say not necessarily. We see from the works of Rodrik, Hausmann and Velasco (2005) that developing economies face multiple constraints to growth, and that public policy should focus on removing the binding constraints that really matter. However, that requires an accurate diagnosis of the binding constraints to growth"
Monday, 8 September 2014
Development of credit markets and cost of credit. Weak contract enforcement raises the cost of borrowing, and shortens loan maturities (Bae and Goyal, 2009; Laeven and Majnoni, 2003), with a detrimental impact on investment, the depth of mortgage markets, and GDP (Bianco et al., 2002; Laeven et al., 2003; Djankov et al., 2008).
Thursday, 4 September 2014
A fascinating comment in Business Week on the potential of the ebola virus on the West African region :
Things have a way of falling apart in Africa. If it is not wars then its nature. Given the regional turbulence in West Africa Ebola is the last thing the region needed. One can only hope that the region's government have sufficient fiscal space to boost demand post Ebola."Sierra Leone’s prospects were bright before the worst-ever outbreak of the virus. The economy was expected to grow 14 percent this year, almost three times faster than the average for sub-Saharan Africa. In neighboring Liberia and Guinea, rich iron-ore deposits were luring billions of dollars in foreign investment and fueling growth. Then, in December, the first case of Ebola appeared in Guinea. Its emergence at first was seen as a short-term outbreak with limited economic impact. The disease now threatens to cripple three economies with a combined gross domestic product of about $13 billion. Commodity companies are slowing production, and airlines are shutting routes. In Liberia, the government says the epidemic threatens to derail progress made since the end of the civil war in 2003. Sierra Leone has canceled its first sale of bonds open to foreigners"
Populist leaders...start out attacking their opponents’ corruption and accuse them of hijacking the state for a self-serving political establishment that excludes the interests of ordinary people. Yet, when in power, they end up behaving exactly the same, treating the state as their or their party’s property and engaging in, or at least condoning, corruption. Usually, this apparent hypocrisy does not hurt populists’ electoral prospects"
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
The victory recorded by the Patriotic Front in the recently held by-election in Mangango is no mean achievement for them as a party seeking to establish national character.
Sunday, 31 August 2014
By Michael Chishala
On 20 August 2014 (the day after the Mangango by-election), an article was published on Zambian Economist (ZE) Facebook page claiming that "...if elections were held today across the country, PF would win it comfortably because they continue to consolidate the rural vote, capitalising on their better organisation and financial resources." Furthermore, "It also means that any broadly reasonable candidate for PF in 2016 should secure re-election, provided PF do not do anything stupid between now and then." I wish to respectfully disagree with both the conclusions and reasoning in the article as follows:
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Economist | Consultant | Researcher
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
A couple of months ago, a long time ally of the Zambian Economist, asked us an important question : ‘Why do you always refer to government as the “PF government?’ We suspected she felt we were inadvertently promoting a one party state. We explained that we use the term pejoratively. We would love to refer to government as the Zambian government. Unfortunately, PF does not draw distinctions between PF and government, so until it does we shall continue to call it the PF government.
That remains our view. However, what we should have also said is that every government since independence has behaved this way. It is wrong to single out PF out. We have had UNIP and MMD governments where the party was equal to government. For example, in 2011 Dora Siliya MP who was serving as an MMD minister said this:
“A lot of people are busy saying the MMD government is abusing ZNBC because ZNBC only covers the MMD government. Yes, ZNBC has to cover us because it shows government developmental projects...Even when Sata comes into power, ZNBC will be covering him alone. THIS IS OUR TIME. Those who want to be feeling bad about themselves when they wake up every day, they should be buying The Post newspapers because it always talks about negative things, saying things are bad in the country when the economy is doing well...”- Dora Siliya (Source : The Post)
Siliya’s argument is that others ate in the past, and now it was MMD's turn to control the levers of power (and eat). We can actually find similar statements from Chiluba, Banda and Mwanawasa. In short whether it is UNIP, PF or MMD all parties once in government believe the party is equal to the government.
This is why we continue to see cadres filling important positions and diminish the effectiveness of government. Government is the party cadres' paradise and the poor peoples' hell. All parties in government are quick to claimnational resources are theirs. They use State positions (especially diplomatic postings) to reward their party cadres (and foreign campaign funders). While this helps the party of the day (at the moment PF) to achieve its political aims it has two serious implications.
First, it puts ordinary citizens in an adversarial position against their government. Consider a NAREP supporter who loves their party but also wants to support their government, as a patriotic citizen, to deliver meaningful development to its people. Unfortunately he / she can't do that because the policeman is now a PF cadre instead of a legitimate government employee. The permanent secretary appointed by President Sata is not a legitimate civil servant but merely a political cadre. How is the PS going to relate to NAREP cadres who in practice are his real employers?
Secondly, it is eliminates the legitimacy of a sitting government. This is the more serious issue. When the party equals government, it essentially means the party in question has usurped state power and using it to reward itself at the expense of the poor. This of course has serious consequences. In some countries it would be considered treason, but in our country it’s the practical effects that are worrying.
Consider the Barotse riots. It was clear that the riots were organised by those aggrieved by "government" actions / statements on the issue. But were they? Or were they grieved by the actions of PF and MMD ( as usurpers of state power)? Was PF acting as a legitimate government or acting as a bunch of cadres with a mindset of "this is our time" to eat in the Dora Siliya mode? When legitimacy is gone it breeds chaos. Equating government with the party is therefore not a way to govern. It breeds violence which disproportionately affects the poor.
The other point to note is that the coalescing of the party with government complicates issues for independent analysts like Zambian Economist. While we aspire to ensure that our take is as non-partisan as it can be, it virtually becomes practically impossible to do so because the party is the same as the government in Zambia. It is this point that the our friends in PF and MMD have always missed when they criticise us.
They should recognise that those of us who stand in defence of the Zambian people will always side with our poor in our critique. We care about their oppressors. In doing that it will most certainly mean that we have no choice but to attack the misguided practices of the party in government because we look for government and we see only the image of PF (as we saw MMD in the past).
Our friends in the Western world have an easier task because in real democracies it is clear where the government ends and the party in government starts. Not so with us. The PF cadre is also the permanent secretary, he is also the police man, he is also the journalist, he is also.....[fill in the blanks].
AUTHOR Chola Mukanga Economist | Consultant | Researcher Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014
Economist | Consultant | Researcher
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014
Sunday, 24 August 2014
“We reject the continued artificial suffering of public service workers that comes with the imposition of the wage freeze while the cost of living continues to rise... In view of the escalating bank lending rates, Government should introduce fixed interest rates for public service employees whose incomes have remained static in the face of increasing interest rates and high cost of living...as the cost of accommodation keeps rising, government must consider providing social housing for public service workers because accommodation continues to take up a big share of workers incomes.”
Friday, 22 August 2014
"..It is commonly said that the failure of Honduran officials to deal with crime against the poor is due to corruption—graft and bribery...Though there are indeed corrupt officials, the fundamental problem is not corruption but fear and a pervasive lack of trust. Poor people do not trust the police, the judicial system, or the bureaucracy. The police do not trust the prosecutors; the prosecutors do not trust the police. The result is that the poor are afraid to take action when they are the victims of crime or illegal treatment; they fear that if they file a report with the police or some government official, the person or organization that wronged them will retaliate. The police and prosecutors likewise fear that they will be the victims of retaliation if they take action. There is plenty of evidence that these fears are warranted. What I saw, more clearly than ever before, is that justice in ALL its forms is impossible in the midst of pervasive fear and distrust.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Monday, 18 August 2014
Editor’s note: A recent article from Albert Halwampa (ZIPAR) on the costs and benefits of external borrowing through Eurobonds. It argues for a comprehensive legal and institutional framework to address the risks associated with this form of debt instrument.
Saturday, 16 August 2014
“Members of parliament go through difficulties and I know the distances because I travel across the country myself, if we want MPs to serve the people to the degree that we expect them and promote democracy and interact with the people we should facilitate...How do we facilitate that, we facilitate that through emoluments. If you want to curb corruption, to ensure that our MPs do not fall in category of people who do not have the interest of people at heart then we should look at the issue of emoluments. You can justify the demands [for a pay rise].”
Thursday, 14 August 2014
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Saturday, 9 August 2014
We feel like foreigners in our own country and this makes us very sad. We are very peaceful people with no intention of promoting anarchy
Power is addictive for it offers infinite possibilities. Once you taste it you want more. There is the lust for power in Scott’s eyes
It is not right for any institution which is not even making any profit to go on strike and say we want money when they are not even making any profit. It is only that government as a mother will come in and assist
We cannot have a president who does not speak to the people. Every President in the world holds a press conference where they are subjected to scrutiny by journalists
To comment on an international disgraced lawyer, I think government is above that. Who is he anyway? Is he a politician or what does he want to do? If he is a politician we will send him to the appropriate party officials to respond to him
Thursday, 7 August 2014
Editor's note: an important recent ministerial statement on the 'Road Rehabilitation and Construction in Zambia' by the Transport Minister Yamfwa Mukanga MP. This is an helpful and unfiltered statement on where road construction is at present. We have made some minor editorial changes to enhance readability.
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Sunday, 3 August 2014
The recent optimisations in the airline’s network portfolio in East Africa means connections to Europe and the United States [will be] in combination with KLM’s strategic and long-term partner Kenya Airways via Nairobi. From Nairobi, passengers can choose from services to London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle in Kenya Airways’ newest equipment including the Dreamliner and with KLM’s recently updated World Business Class.
Saturday, 2 August 2014
“They are preaching bad omen against the President but at the same time they want to see him … we want to ask through our party leadership at national level not to allow this to happen because their thinking is negative. The calls for the opposition to meet the President are in bad faith and should not be condoned because the President is working as he should be in line with the mandate that the Zambian people gave to him and the PF”
Friday, 1 August 2014
Editor's note: an important ministerial statement was issued recently by Mines Minister Chris Yaluma on Konkola Copper Mines PLC. It seemed to contain rather interesting statements against President Sata’s threat to nationalise against KCM.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Monday, 28 July 2014
Editor's note : An important article on the ongoing attack on press freedom in Zambia by Bruce Chooma. Media freedom is important because as Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen reminds us "development is freedom".The work of journalists is becoming increasingly difficult in Zambia due to growing intolerance by the state to independent media and a rise in cases of harassment of journalists. A recent report by Freedom House, a US based human rights organisation showed that in 2013, Zambia fell 21 places from 72 to 93 out of 180 and landed in the category of states that are classified as “not free”.
Friday, 25 July 2014
Editor's note: A very helpful response from ZIPAR on some of the questions that the were raised by Zambian Economist readers on Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also follow the discussion to the article below via Facebook.
A while back we asked for ideas on how Zambia can cut wasteful spending. The need to cut down on bye-elections and reduce on infrastructure spending are known. We wanted to identify simple ideas that are often missed. Here are some of the ideas that you came up with.
1# - Reduce the size of cabinet to no more than 12 with each ministry having only one supporting junior minister and one permanent secretary who runs the ministry. All provincial deputy ministries should be scrapped.
2# - Abolish the post of District Commissioner as it merely duplicates other functions. Make the Town Clerk the Chief Executive Officer and introduce an enhanced role for directly elected mayors to improve accountability.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Editor’s note: An helpful article from Tamara Billima-Mulenga (ZIPAR) on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). It does not address the fundamental problems, nsmely CDF corrupts the proper functions of MPs; encourages corruption and mismanagement; and, is a poor attempt at “fiscal decentralisation”. But the paper is helpful in contributing to the debate in this area. We need more such discussions to ensure public money is being properly utilised.
Monday, 21 July 2014
Saturday, 19 July 2014
Friday, 18 July 2014
Editor's note: the article below is from the recent Parliamentary Committee on Communications, and Transport report (July 2014) which covers wide range of areas. We have extracted the article on fiscal decentralisation for ease of access. Some minor edits have been made for ease of reading.
Friday, 11 July 2014
Editor's note: the article below is from the recent Parliamentary Committee on Estimates report (July 2014) which covers wide range of areas. We have extracted the article on fiscal decentralisation for ease of access. Some minor edits have been made for ease of reading.
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Switzerland is a global hub for trade in commodities, and so exerts a significant influence on Africa's development. But critics say the way commodities are traded through the country is shrouded in opacity and this ultimately deprives developing regions such as Africa of revenue….For example, a 2010 study by Christian Aid showed that as Zambia's copper production soared in the 2000s, Switzerland came to account for more than half of the southern African country's exports of the commodity. But the price of Swiss re-exports of the copper was far higher than that received in Zambia.In 2008, the study estimated, Zambia's GDP would have been 80 percent higher if the copper leaving its borders in that year alone had received the same price as Switzerland. It's a pattern of trade mispricing that has persisted, critics say.A study in January by the Centre for Global Development, a trade and aid think tank, estimated that developing countries may be losing between $8 billion and $120 billion a year because of mispricing of commodities in Switzerland….In other cases, commodities such as copper will be recorded as destined for Switzerland but instead go to a Swiss-based trading house and onwards to, say, China.
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
The Great Wall of China is thousands of miles long, 30 feet high, and 18 feet thick and was built as security against the northern invaders. It is a massive construction, visible from outer space, and was intended to be impenetrable. In fact, impressive as it was, the wall was breached not by physically breaking the wall down but by a simple ruse: the gatekeepers were bribed. A wall is only as strong as the people protecting it; an economy is only as strong as the people working in it; a business is only as strong as its staff; an army is only as strong as its soldiers. We can build walls to protect us, but walls are as strong (or as weak) as the humans that guard them. One bribe and the gates will open.JOSH MOODY(Source: Journey to Joy)
Sunday, 6 July 2014
Of the $500 billion a year the IMF reckons they cost—the equivalent of four times all official foreign aid—half is spent by governments in the Middle East and north Africa, where, on average, it is worth about 20% of government revenues. The proceeds flow overwhelmingly to the car-driving urban elite. In the typical emerging economy the richest fifth of households hoover up 40% of the benefits of fuel subsidies; the poorest fifth get only 7%. But the poorest suffer disproportionately from the distortions that such intervention creates. Egypt spends seven times more on fuel subsidies than on health. Cheap fuel encourages the development of heavy industry rather than the job-rich light manufacturing that offers far more people a route out of poverty.
Friday, 4 July 2014
"I am not qualified to stand as president because I am excluded by the same amended 1996 Constitution, which excluded Kaunda and excludes, as far as I understand, Given Lubinda and Mulenga Sata. Both your parents have to be Zambian. So [President Sata] is reluctant in my understanding to appoint someone who could be a target of a petition in the courts... If this man is not qualified to stand as president, how can we make him the Acting President? [President Sata] does not want to have a constitutional crisis, when he is somewhere else. So there is no big deal."GUY SCOTT(Source: The Post)
Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Editor's note: Resident contributor Henry Kyambalesa argues in the article below that the latest calls to increase the size of parliament are totally misguided.