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ZAMBIA’S economy in 2018 performed far much better as compared to other countries in the region such as South Africa.

This is according to the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) president Lubinda Haabazoka.

Dr Haabazoka explained that the general reduction in demand for goods and services in the region saw countries such as South Africa going through recession.

He said Zambia for a long time in 2018 experienced reduced debt growth rate because of austerity measures announced by the Government.

Dr Haabazoka said this in response to a press query from the Daily Nation.

He said since implementing austerity measures, Zambia was literally on a self-imposed International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

This is because most measures and fiscal discipline were what the IMF normally called for.

“Debt management will continue to be on top agenda of economic discussions but we hope government looks at home grown solutions before rushing on an IMF package.

“It is important to note that government continues to show seriousness in cutting expenditure by removing subsidies, something that an IMF package calls for,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Haabazoka said 2019 would depend on the metal prices as China and the United States of America continued with their trade war.

He said the Kwacha value, which remained stable last year, would depend on how the mining sector contributed to Zambia’s forex inflows.

“We expect a good harvest due to timely distribution of farming inputs although poor rainfall patterns especially in Southern Province pose a threat to harvest! We also expect the economy to grow above 4 percent in 2019 due to a weak Kwacha that encourages consumption of domestically produced goods,” he said.

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