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 123

July 21 2014

From Zambian Economist Mon Jul 21 2014, 18:30:00

Earlier this year we asked for ideas on reducing road traffic accidents on our very active Facebook page. Its taken a while to sort through the many detailed comments. Here are the best 13 ideas you came up with.  The ideas are over and above basic existing initiatives being undertaken by GRZ such as building more roads, more dual carriageways, increased road maintenance and mode switch. And of course all the ideas would require a proper cost benefit analysis before taking them forward.

1# - Introduce restrictions on where drivers can drive depending on existing experience e.g. those with less than one year driving experience could be banned from driving on intercity roads.

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July 19 2014

From Zambian Economist Sat Jul 19 2014, 18:23:00

On 3rd January 2011, PF President Michael Sata wrote to President Banda following his wife's treatment in South Africa arranged by the Zambian government. He expressed "profound gratitude" to President Banda for "the consideration, compassion and care extended to [Christine Kaseba] during the period of her illness and stay at Milpark Hospital". Mr Sata was particularly "pleased to see that [Christine Kaseba's] life was saved due to the government's prompt action to evacuate her".

The action by President Banda to evacuate Christine Kaseba clearly created difficulties for Mr Sata because it meant Mr & Mrs Sata owed their lives to two separate taxpayer funded evacuations at expensive hospitals in South Africa. All down to the MMD government's policy of foreign evacuations for the political ...

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July 11 2014

From Zambian Economist Fri Jul 11 2014, 12:31:00

Editor's note: the article below is from  the recent Parliamentary Committee on Estimates report (July 2014) which covers wide range of areas. We have extracted the article on fiscal decentralisation for ease of access. Some minor edits have been made for ease of reading. 

The revised Decentralisation Policy was launched by His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata on 16th June, 2013. Fiscal Decentralisation is part of the broader framework of the revised Decentralisation Policy. It entails the devolution of some budgetary powers to the local authorities.

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July 10 2014

From Zambian Economist Thu Jul 10 2014, 03:11:00

A telling quote from a recent article on how mispricing and the opacity of commodities trading in Switzerland is contributing to Africa's underdevelopment :

Switzerland is a global hub for trade in commodities, and so exerts a significant influence on Africa's development. But critics say the way commodities are traded through the country is shrouded in opacity and this ultimately deprives developing regions such as Africa of revenue....

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July 9 2014

From Zambian Economist Wed Jul 9 2014, 02:14:00

Editor's note:  This article by His Royal Highness Chitimukulu of the Bemba people ("Henry Kanyanta Sosala") provides important reflections on tribe, tribalism and culture. The article is reproduced from Lusaka Times.

Preamble

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July 8 2014

From Zambian Economist Tue Jul 8 2014, 18:01:00

The Great Wall of China is thousands of miles long, 30 feet high, and 18 feet thick and was built as security against the northern invaders. It is a massive construction, visible from outer space, and was intended to be impenetrable. In fact, impressive as it was, the wall was breached not by physically breaking the wall down but by a simple ruse: the gatekeepers were bribed. A wall is only as strong as the people protecting it; an economy is only as strong as the people working in it; a business is only as strong as its staff; an army is only as strong as its soldiers. We can build walls to protect us, but walls are as strong (or as weak) as the humans that guard them. One bribe and the gates will open.

JOSH MOODY

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July 6 2014

From Zambian Economist Sun Jul 6 2014, 17:58:00

A recent article  from Economist Magazine provides some interesting commentary on current trends around the world to get rid of energy subsidies. It notes that energy subsidies have wrrecked budgets and the environment alike :

Of the $500 billion a year the IMF reckons they cost--the equivalent of four times all official foreign aid--half is spent by governments in the Middle East and north Africa, where, on average, it is worth about 20% of government revenues. The proceeds flow overwhelmingly to the car-driving urban elite. In the typical emerging economy the richest fifth of households hoover up 40% of the benefits of fuel subsidies; the poorest fifth get only 7%. But the poorest suffer disproportionately from the distortions that such intervention creates. Egypt spends seven times ...

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July 4 2014

From Zambian Economist Fri Jul 4 2014, 16:39:00

"I am not qualified to stand as president because I am excluded by the same amended 1996 Constitution, which excluded Kaunda and excludes, as far as I understand, Given Lubinda and Mulenga Sata. Both your parents have to be Zambian. So [President Sata] is reluctant in my understanding to appoint someone who could be a target of a petition in the courts... If this man is not qualified to stand as president, how can we make him the Acting President? [President Sata] does not want to have a constitutional crisis, when he is somewhere else. So there is no big deal."

GUY SCOTT

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July 1 2014

From Zambian Economist Tue Jul 1 2014, 00:55:00

Editor's note:  Resident contributor Henry Kyambalesa argues in the article below that the latest calls to increase the size of parliament are totally misguided.

In 2010, the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) recommended an increase in the number of Parliamentary seats from 158 to 280 seats. Recently, Electoral Commission of Zambia Chairperson, Comrade Ireen Mambilima, urged the government to amend the Republican constitution in order to increase the number of Parliamentary seats from the current 150 to 235 elective seats.

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June 28 2014

From Zambian Economist Sat Jun 28 2014, 19:43:00

There has been much debate on President Sata's health. This is expected and it is clearly not the first time. Zambians in the past, sometimes led by Mr Sata, have debated matters of presidential health more vigorously than we are seeing at present. This is to be welcomed because Zambia should not be a Republic of Fear, where people are afraid to say what they think for fear of being insulted, victimised or imprisoned.

President Sata is obviously unwell and this was helpfully confirmed by Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda in May 2014 when he said clearly that ministers were equally "concerned" for his health. The issue has therefore moved beyond simple consideration of the binary question, is he well or not, but to two critical questions: how seriously ill is Mr Sata; and, does it matter to ...

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