Blog entries from: Zambian Economist

A non-partisan website that provides independent economic perspectives on Zambia's progress towards meaningful development for her people.

1 to 10 of 163

April 13 2014

From Zambian Economist Sun Apr 13 2014, 22:25:00

Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has called on the Government to bail out state media workers (e.g. Daily Mail, Times of Zambia). It draws its membership from the state media. ZUK president James Muyanwa says :

Our members at Times Printpak Zambia Limited, have suffered for a long time now. The workers have been getting their salaries late for about four years now. For instance, currently they are in two-month salary arrears, and have literally been surviving by the grace of God.....Given this situation, we feel the Government should move from mere words to action on the matter to salvage the company from total collapse and also address the plight of our members. We feel that the company, as a public institution, deserves the same treatment as Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) and Zambia ...

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April 11 2014

From Zambian Economist Fri Apr 11 2014, 22:17:00

I would like to state here that if we are going to have a referendum as it seems to be the case, the legal process leading us to that cannot be completed before the year 2016. A referendum under our present law requires that we should first conduct a national consensus of all those citizens who are eligible to vote (above 18 years old)


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April 10 2014

From Zambian Economist Thu Apr 10 2014, 22:06:00

GRZ is currently importing expensive finished petroleum products through tankers hired by foreign suppliers Trafigura and Dalbit. According to Energy Minister Christopher Yaluma the arrangement is because Indeni Petroleum Refinery, Zambia's sole crude oil refinery is obsolete. Yaluma says, "Indeni has outlived its usefulness and cannot meet the country's demand. In fact, it is running obsolete and all we are doing is that we are pushing it along; otherwise its production capacity has fallen more than three fold" (Source: Daily Nation)

Garry Nkombo MP has advised GRZ to liberalise the energy market and allow more people to supply fuel if the cost of the commodity is to reduce. He believes the solution to fuel challenges lies in government allowing anyone to bring in the commodity without ...

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April 8 2014

From Zambian Economist Tue Apr 8 2014, 21:50:00

Zambia has finally launched its US$1bn 10-year Eurobond at a final yield of 8.625%, according to government sources. The bond was allegedly oversubscribed by US$4.25bn, much lower than last time. The government tried to do this before Christmas but held back to see which way the liquidity wind was blowing.

As this is a 10 year bond, Zambia will be paying interest of 8.625% or $86m per year for the next 10 years. It will then need to pay back the final $1bn in 2024. Zambia is currently paying around $40m interest annually on its first Eurobond of $750m. It is due to pay back the full $750m in 2022.

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April 7 2014

From Zambian Economist Mon Apr 7 2014, 18:02:00

The long awaited Chipata -Mchinji railway line is now operational after stalling over three decades. It is now operating with a locomotive and 51 wagons. ZRL is working towards having 200 wagons including five other locomotives into Chipata by the end of this year so as to create additional capacity. The route now connects Chipata to Nacala port in Mozambique via Mchinji and Nayuchi. (Source : Lusaka Times)

GRZ has begun the rehabilitation of the Mulobezi railway line to facilitate transportation of cargo and people between Livingstone and Mulobezi district. Contractors have been engaged to resuscitate the Mulobezi railway line and will employ a minimum of 600 workers. Transport Minister Yamfwa Mukanga says to ensure that the railway line is viable, Mulobezi railway will be connected to the ...

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April 5 2014

From Zambian Economist Sat Apr 5 2014, 17:06:00

Municipal councils around the country are currently electing new mayors and deputies, with district councils electing chairpersons and deputies. The new office bearers are being elected by councillors, from existing councillors, and for the councillors! It is democracy but not as we know it!

In many councils what should be an issue about deepening local democracy and governance has become mere politics. In many places most candidates are first being subjected to approval by the PF before running for office, with little internal democracy. And yet these "elections" are but a symptom of a much larger problem! The bigger issue is that our local government model is totally broken.

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April 3 2014

From Zambian Economist Thu Apr 3 2014, 18:52:00

Editor's note : A good editorial in the Daily Nation on an important issue. It is telling though that the Daily Nation believes that it has to quote the World Bank to substantiate a very basic point. It is a shame that 50 years after independence an opinion carries more weight when it is buttressed by foreign organisations and not poor ordinary Zambians. As I have repeatedly said Zambians have to learn to increasingly think for themselves if the country is to move forward. It would have made more sense to quote a Zambian education institution on these issues. Where are the academics?

Apart from all other negative influences that have driven the Kwacha into a free fall is the unmanageable wage award granted to public service workers which has driven the cost of Government beyond acceptable ...

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March 30 2014

From Zambian Economist Sun Mar 30 2014, 19:25:00

Zambia recently borrowed $14 million from Kuwait in order to set up a new teacher training college in North-Western Province. The loan agreement will last 24 years, preceded by a 4 year grace period. The project is expected to commence this year and complete end 2015 / early 2026 at a total cost of $20 million. Government is funding the other $6m through other means. (Source : Lusaka Times)

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March 27 2014

From Zambian Economist Thu Mar 27 2014, 04:04:00

I have been writing on economic issues relating to Zambia for many years now. And I can confidently say that this is the most exciting time to be a Zambian economist for more than a decade. Why do I say so?

After Mwanawasa crossed the HIPC completion point and secured debt relief the economic issues became largely "microeconomic". The analysis was mainly about the economics of reducing corruption, tackling local poverty, creating incentives, securing money from copper, and other micro issues. In fact china was just arriving on the continent, so the politics of foreign investment was not as amplified.

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March 26 2014

From Zambian Economist Wed Mar 26 2014, 04:13:00

Editor's note : The Financial Times (UK) reported this week that Zambia is looking to tap the bond markets. The Government is undeterred by a crumbling currency, worsening fiscal deficit and rising debt repayment costs.

Zambia plans to become the first African government to tap global capital markets in 2014, providing an important test of investor demand for the continent's debt.

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