7 November 2012

Zambia: Economic Growth Indicators Positive Sign

ZAMBIA's economic performance in the last couple of years has been very impressive posting steady growth in key sectors such as mining, agriculture, construction and prospects for the year 2013 are quite positive.

This is a good standing for a developing country like Zambia especially in view of current uncertainties in the global economic environment.

Although inflation has increased from six per cent last year to 6.8 per cent as at the month of October 2012 due to rising food prices, the figures have remained within predictable limits and, according to the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, they are bound to drop to at least six per cent in the next few months to come.

Apart from that, Zambia's per capita income has risen from US$1,000 three years ago, to the current $3,000 and the Government's aim is to ensure that per capita income is raised further to between $5,000 and $12,000 in the next five years or so.

The gains for the positive growth are as a result of the favourable economic conditions and good investment climate for which Zambia is recognised.

This scenario if maintained will help to attract more foreign investors into various sectors of the economy such as agriculture and mining for example, which are key factors in accelerating further economic growth.

The Patriotic Front (PF) Government since assuming office in September 2011 has scored positive strides especially in tight fiscal planning as well as improved revenue administration.

Zambia should in addition utilise the recently mooted World Bank programme called the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) to run from 2013 through to 2016 which aims to align with the participating countries development strategies.

The CPS presents the World Bank's business plan that will provide a roadmap and strategic framework for lending and non-lending activities for participating countries in the next few years to come.

This, once utilised properly, will help to improve Zambia's economic performance which will translate into real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and lead to poverty reduction, especially in rural areas.

Therefore, the recent observation by IMF chief of mission John Wakeman-Linn is genuine as evidence is there for everyone to scrutinise.

The successful launch of the first $750 million Euro bond is also likely to get Zambia into sustainable development as the objectives are achievable both in long and short term.

With these Euro funds now in place, the Government is expected to develop infrastructure especially in agriculture, manufacturing and construction which are some of the key sectors which will invigorate the economy.

The Government's plan to set up industrial clusters in all provincial centres of the country will also help to trigger rapid economic activities and make the country achieve real GDP growth to more than the anticipated growth of 7.3 per cent per annum.

This will not only contribute to economic growth but will also help to reduce high poverty levels in rural areas and create more employment opportunities for the hundreds of unemployed.

Government will do well to ensure that it maintains its current work rate, enforce tight and prudent fiscal management as well as keep conditions suitable for investment in place in order to attract more foreign direct investment which is cardinal for this country's continued positive economic performance.

Copyright © 2012 The Times of Zambia. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.