Zambia: Copper Prices Strengthen GDP Growth 2009

September 7, 2009

Zambian Copper Prices

Zambia’s GDP growth is predicted to be of 6% or more during 2009, due to doubling in prices for copper and market improvements in other sectors. Zambia Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane had announced a growth of 5% in the 2009 budget.

During the 2Q 2008 prices for copper went down dramatically and significant unemployment throughout the mining sector was the result of the impact of this on mining industry in Zambia.

Mr. George Tsibouris, who is IMF mission chief for Zambia, stated in a speech that the outlook for the Zambian economy is beginning to improve as the mining sector is benefiting from the price recovery. Zambia’s economy in general is also supported by a steady recovery of the external environment, and provide a solid platform for Zambia to benefit from the rising copper prices.

An IMF mission that visited Zambia from 31st August to 4th September to discuss and review economic developments as well as the the 2010 budget formed by Zambia’s government. The meeting was participated by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane; Governor of the Bank of Zambia, Dr. Caleb Fundanga as well as other officials and members of Zambia’s business community.

Zambia is pursuing an economic diversification program to reduce the economy’s reliance on copper mining. The initiative seeks to develop other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, gemstone mining, and hydro-power. Zambia is a highly urbanized country with more than 45% of the population residing in urban areas along the major transport corridors and the Copperbelt. Rural areas are sparsely populated, and Zambia is one of the most urbanized areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Stanbic Bank head of Africa Research Group Economics, Yvonne Mhango, said in last week Lusaka that there would be a significant growth in economies throughout Africa, particularly in importing economies such as Zambia, however African nations who depend on export, such as Nigeria and South Africa will be facing economic declines.

Speaking at Zambian economies and commodity markets, Yvonne Mhango stated that especially the mining and sectors, construction, trade, agriculture, transport and information technologies as sectors are expected to perform well this year in Zambia.

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