20 December 2012

Zambia: 'Pro-Poor Policies Pay Dividends'

THE Zambian Government's pro-poor policies have started paying dividends as the economy records marked improvements, the Eastern and Southern Africa trade and development bank (PTA) has said.

PTA president Admassu Tadesse said the Zambian economy was set to post the projected growth rate of more than seven per cent for this fiscal year, up from the estimated six per cent.

Mr Tadesse said huge investments had been made in the infrastructure, education, health and mining sectors while inflation remained low.

He said during a PTA Bank business seminar in Lusaka yesterday that all the improvements had the desired impact on the country's human development, financial and macroeconomic potential, and living standards in general.

Mr Tadesse said it was noteworthy that the achievements had been made against many odds, including constraints posed by the country's geographical location, without direct access to the sea.

"But as a regional institution, we know that Zambia is in a good position to become an advanced land-linked country.

"We are delighted to note that in Zambia's overall development programme, the PTA Bank has played a part, albeit a humble one. The bank has combined project and trade financing support running into billions of dollars to date," Mr Tadesse said.

He noted that Zambia had made major strides in her social and economic development in the last couple of years, adding that positive and continuous improvement in the economic indicators were the proof that Zambia was on course.

Mr Tadesse said the government should work on infrastructure development to realise the benefits of its geographical location.

He said infrastructure development was important as most businesses relied on it, adding that Zambia needed to develop infrastructure across the borders like on the Democratic Republic of Congo border.

"We will work with partners and investors to ensure that we help accelerate and make Zambia one of the best countries in the region," he said.

Mr Tadesse said the bank had continued to grow with an asset base of more than US$1.6 billion while its authorised capital base was at $2 billion.

He said the bank also made inroads into the global capital markets which had enabled it to access funds at competitive rates from international financiers.

"The bank now has an authourised capital base of $2 billion while the asset base stands at over $1.6 billion. This is a great achievement for us," Mr Tadesse said.

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