By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZAMBIA still has bright prospects despite the current economic challenges the country is going through, says World Bank economist – Macroeconomics, Trade and Investments Global Practice – Ziv Chinzara.
Dr. Chinzara explained that the bright future prospects would be driven by the Government’s fiscal consolidation measures as recently announced by Finance Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe.
He was speaking in an interview in Lusaka.
“We think that at the moment, although Zambia is going through some challenges, it has bright prospects. We have seen Government announcing fiscal consolidation measures and they are being laid out going forward.
“As Government consolidates its measures, it is going to create space for private sector growth and these measures will spur growth driven by private sector,” he said.
Dr. Chinzara also emphasised the need to enhance the agriculture sector which presented many opportunities for Zambia’s prospects.
He explained that value addition was key for diversifying the Zambian economy.
Dr. Chinzara said that improving agriculture would lift half of a population out of poverty.
“One area which is important is agriculture and is a key engine for diversification of the economy for value addition. This value addition insulates Zambia’s economy and can save the economy from external shocks.
“So we think there are opportunities in agriculture over the next 10 years. That should be a core forecast and Zambia has shown that it wants to explore these opportunities through its Seventh National Development Plan laying out plans to pursue diversification through agriculture,” he said.
Dr. Chinzara called on Government to create linkages among all sectors of the economy for better diversification.