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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

New Cabinet

The new Lungu administration is beginning to take shape. The list of appointments in Cabinet are set out below :

(1) Hon. Davis Chama, (MP): MINISTER OF DEFENCE (Nominated);
(2) Hon. Felix Mutati, (MP): MINISTER OF FINANCE (Nominated);
(3) Hon. Steven Kampyongo(MP): MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS;
(5) Hon. Lucky Mulusa (MP): MINISTER OF NATIONAL PLANNING (Nominated);
(6) Hon. Chitalu Chilufya (MP): MINISTER OF HEALTH;
(8) Hon. Joyce Nonde-Simukoko(MP): MINISTER OF LABOUR & SOCIAL SECURITY (Nominated).

President Lungu has also appointed the following Provincial Ministers :

Monday, 15 August 2016

Edgar Lungu is President-elect!

Congratulations to President-elect Edgar Lungu and Vice President-elect Inonge Wina who have won the presidential elections with 50.4% of valid votes cast. They also  won clearly 6 out of 10 provinces, demonstrating a very wide rural and urban reach. 

Mrs Ingonge has become the first directly elected Vice President of Zambia. Mr Lungu has become the first candidate to secure above 50% for two decades. He is now a popular president statistically. 

PAC- 15,791

Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Mwamba must be congratulated too for a very hard fought campaign. And of course our Zambian people who have been extremely patient as always despite some young, restless and foreign influenced Twitterati inciting disharmony. 

The election of Edgar Lungu is a much better outcome than the alternative in terms of stability because he will be able to govern effectively with over 50% MPs in parliament. This is vital given the economic predicament we are in. 

It would have been quite challenging for HH to push forward much needed structural reforms had he won. An HH presidency would have struggled to pass a UPND Budget. It might even led to policy paralysis and possible collapse of government.

One final note: 

The great outcome of these elections is that Zambians have now learnt to distinguish between the president and MPs. It has been good to see many independents elected with the presidential voting going for a different candidate.

We are maturing as a democracy.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

UPND Manifesto: Reducing Inequality

We continue our review of the UPND 2016-21 manifesto. It sets out a ten point plan to govern and develop Zambia. Here is our assessment of their second policy promise to "reduce inequality”.


What are the main specific proposals? 

The UPND promises to “reduce inequality” through undertaking four actions : a) growing the economy because “we cannot share poverty”; (b) delivering food security through long term planning and forecasting; (c) stringent laws and regulations against Gender Based Violence (GBV); and, (d) putting measures in place “to protect the vulnerable in our society [including] women and youth”. 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Patriotic Front - Manifesto 2016-2021

Zambia's current party in government the Patriotic Front (PF) has released its detailed manifesto (79 pages). This is an important milestone that seeks to set out how the PF intends to govern under the leadership of Edgar Lungu and Inonge Wina. We plan to review the main promises in due course. We have already published the UPND manifesto. We hope to do the same with the FDD manifesto once it becomes available. 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

UPND Manifesto: Job Creation

Today we begin a review of the UPND 2016-21 manifesto. It sets out a ten point plan to govern and develop Zambia. The first policy priority of a future UPND led government is to "create jobs and business opportunities”. Here is our broad assessment of this manifesto commitment.


What are the main specific proposals?

The UPND is promising to create jobs and business opportunities for everyone. It plans to achieve this by “establishing a supportive environment for business that promotes economic growth and diversification”. UPND proposes to achieve this through four initiatives:

(a) securing the mining sector as a way of “revitalising the once upon a time vibrant mining towns on the copperbelt”;
(b) working with industry to “open up opportunities in underdeveloped sectors such as tourism, agro-processing and manufacturing”;

Monday, 30 May 2016

UPND Manifesto 2016-21

Zambia's leading opposition party the United Party for National Development (UPND) has released its manifesto. This is an important document that merits careful studying given how closely contested the August elections are likely to be. The manifesto sets out 10 priorities that a potential UPND administration is likely to focus on. We plan to review each of the promises one by one. We hope to publish the PF and FDD promises in due course when they are available. The PF manifesto has alredy been launched but it is proving elusive.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Zambia Monetary Policy Statement (May 2016)

The Bank of Zambia released its quarterly monetary policy statement this month. It noted the current fiscal and monetary challenges facing the economy. The statement and presentation are embedded below.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Zambia's mining challenges

Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) is planning to invest over US$1 billion as part of its construction of three new mine shafts. The company plans to make the investments between now and 2018, as part of what MCM dubs its “commitment to turning Mopani into a world-class mining operation by 2023”.

The announcement is a bit of positive news for the mining sector after losing over 10,000 jobs last year following the scaling down of mining activities. MCM lost around 4,300 mining jobs. Of course Zambia is not alone in these challenges. The SADC region has lost approximately 490,000 mining jobs.

The challenge for mining companies in Zambia is that as well as high production costs and low copper prices, the companies face the huge challenge of poor electricity supply. The result is that copper production will remain weak for the foreseeable future with negative impact on economic growth and tax revenues.

Monday, 28 March 2016

IMF - Zambia Watch (March 2016)

Editor's note: The latest IMF statement on Zambia confirms the gloomy state of the economy. The only good news at present is the stability of the exchange rate. How long that holds depends on fast the fiscal issues are addressed. It remains to be seen whether the increased willingness by the government to contemplate an IMF supported programme will be matched by real sacrifices. There doesn't appear to be political room for such a programme before  the elections (August 2016). But then again agreeing austerity measures that are unlikely to bite until after August ought to be a no-brainer. 
At the invitation of the authorities, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Tsidi Tsikata visited Zambia during March 9-18 to review recent macroeconomic developments and discuss with the authorities how best to address the current economic challenges facing the country.  At the end of the mission, Mr. Tsikata issued the following statement:

"The Zambian economy is under intense pressure. Lower copper prices, electricity shortages, and poor rainfall have dampened the pace of economic activity. Moreover, inflation has increased, expenditure pressures have risen, and financing conditions have tightened substantially. The mission estimated that economic growth declined to about 3 percent in 2015. Resolute action is needed as quickly as possible to restore macroeconomic stability and pave the way for a return to high sustained growth.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Zambia Monetary Policy Statement (February 2016)

The Bank of Zambia released its quarterly monetary policy statement in February. It noted the current fiscal and monetary challenges facing the economy. The statement and presentation are embedded below.