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.