ZIPAR urges Government to keep a keen eye on interest payments and find ways to ensure that these do not adversely affect the country’s efforts to attain fiscal fitness.
By Florence Banda-Muleya
On the morning of 24th April 2017, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) announced that it had declared a tax amnesty. This undertaking showed that Santa had come early and was not being discriminatory!
The impact of the recent Zambian economic slowdown on both businesses and the public is revealed for the first time in research commissioned by the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) as part of its flagship More and Better Jobs project.
Zambia’s city populations are expanding at an average rate of nearly 4 percent per year and it is projected that Zambia must create 1.2 million new urban jobs by 2025 and 2.8 million by 2035.
A report published today by ZIPAR, the International Growth Centre and Just Jobs Network states that the number of Zambian workers employed in agriculture fell steeply from 71.4 percent to 48.9 percent. Zambia is witnessing a shift as the workforce moves out of agriculture into services and industry between 2008 and 2014.
By Shebo Nalishebo
In light of the Finance Minister Hon. Alexander Chikwanda’s announcement to Parliament that the budget deficit has ballooned from the earlier projected K8.5 billion to K20 billion, among the measures that government may have to consider to plug this deficit is going back to the international sovereign bond market. Now is a good time to think hard about how to manage the risks associated with increased government debt. Since 2012, Zambia has borrowed US$1.75 billion worth of what are called Eurobonds. Zambia’s first Eurobond worth US$750 million was issued in 2012, while the second one worth US$1 billion was issued in 2014. In 2014, these Eurobonds accounted for nearly two-fifths of the debt we owe other countries.
Since 2013, the Kwacha has lost more than forty percent on the back of falling metal prices and legislative drawbacks. As it is well known, Zambia’s exports strongly depend on metals: copper and cobalt. About three quarters of foreign earnings still accrue to metals, a feature that has amplified the exposure of the country to global fluctuations.
Zambia can achieve remarkable economic growth that can reduce poverty and create descent employment by industrializing. Recent renewed interests towards industrialization by the Government and SADC are laudable.