THE BANK of Zambia says the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its November meeting decided to raise the Monetary Policy Rate ( MPR) by 50 basis points to 9.0 percent.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka, Bank of Zambia Governor Dr Denny Kalyalya said the decision was arrived at in a quest to help steer inflation to single digits in 2022 and to maintain it within the 6-8 percent target range by mid 2023 as staled in the 2022 budget address.
Dr Kalyalya said the committee also took into account the need to continue supporting economic growth and maintaining financial stability.
“Although the inflation is projected to decelerate sharply over the forecast horizon, it shall be above the upper bound of 6-8 target range,” he explained.
“The upside risks to inflation outlook include the possible increase in fuel pump price and electricity tariffs necessary to restore fiscal sustainability as well as the predicted fourth wave of Covid-19 that could disrupt supply chains,”.
Dr Kalyalya also noted that the Kwacha which had been on the depreciating trend weakening by 7.1 percent in the year to June 2021,appreciated by 25.9 percent between July 1 and September 30, 2021 to 16.78 per US dollar.
He added that this was on the back of improved market sentiments and sustained supply of exchange particularly from mining companies and foreign investors in government securities.
Zambia Airways will spur growth in the tourism and export sectors, says Frank Tayali
TRANSPORT and Logistics Minister says investment into the Zambia airline represents government commitment to deepen and strengthen the country’s value chain development agenda.
Speaking when he launched the Zambia airline, Frank Tayali said the establishment of the national airline will spur growth in the tourism and export sectors and will have a significant multiple effort on job creation through different businesses in the aviation sector supply chains.
He said the development also signifies improved accessibility to tourists attraction for tourists to ensure the full utilisation of airport facilities and transformation of Zambia into a transitional hub.
“We accept being a government of a land linked country, but we will not accept to be sky locked, he said.
“Our full support is granted to Zambia airways through assured innovative and effective aviation sub sector policies and strategies,”
Mr Tayali further said the commercial airline has been established to promote competition in the aviation industry, as opposed to assertions that the airline has been established to kill competition.
“What we are witnessing here today is proof on the committee towards making the Zambian economy work effectively and competitive to sustainably lift the living standards of the Zambian people,” he noted.
Mr Tayali further called for excellency from all workers, especially the customer care personnel.
16 ZDF Officers Complete U.S. Government-Supported Training Management Course
ON November 26, sixteen Zambia Defence Force military officers completed a month-long course in Advanced Training Management and Training Resource Management. Supported by the U.S. government’s Global Peace Operations Initiative, course participants built mission analysis skills, learned advanced training design techniques, and prepared for upcoming deployments (including UN peacekeeping missions to the Central African Republic).
To demonstrate their proficiency at the close of the course, participants produced and presented briefings on how to resource and design military exercise trainings. This culminated in the design of a battalion field exercise plan for the deploying Zambian Battalion (ZAMBATT), which participants briefed to Zambia Defence Force officials. After the completion of a final written exam, the group graduated on Friday.
The Global Peace Operations Initiative is a U.S. government-funded security assistance program that strengthens international capacity and capability to execute UN and regional peace operations by enhancing partner countries’ sustainable, self-sufficient peace operations proficiencies and by building the capacity of the UN and regional organizations to conduct such missions.
Mining the Escape from the Debt Trap
THE best way for African countries to avoid incurring more unsustainable debt is by fast tracking the domestication of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), reviewing and harmonising of international instruments regarding the governance of mineral resources. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is losing around US$21.1 billion a year from external government debt payments.
This was revealed at the ongoing international conference which is being hosted by the Centre for Trade and Policy Development (CTPD) with the support of its partners in Lusaka on the governance of mineral resources when two researchers, Veronica Zano and Kenneth Okwaroh, released their research findings on the state of mineral resource governance in Southern and East Africa.
The AMV is a policy framework that was created by the African Union in 2009 to ensure that Africa utilizes its mineral resources strategically for broad-based economic development and inclusive development. The framework seeks to encourage African leaders and citizens to act now to ensure that the goals of the AMV are realised. The AMV was adopted by Heads of State at the February 2009 AU summit following the October 2008 Meeting of African Ministers responsible for Mineral Resources’ Development. It is Africa’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty. The AMV is holistic. It advocates thinking outside the “mining box”.
“One of the key prerequisites to converting extractive wealth into sustainable development is capturing a fair share of the revenues that come from the extraction of resources. The AMV gives African countries an opportunity to transform their economic fortunes through advancing good mineral resource governance,’’ Ms Zano stated.
“Despite being a non-binding framework, member states are encouraged to adopt it into national laws and policies. So far, 24 out of 54 countries have started the implementation of the AMV. Only Lesotho has fully domesticated and used AMV to prepare its Country Mining Vision (CMV). The AMV has largely influenced the push for reforms in the mining laws/ codes of member states,” She added.
Examples of countries which are actively working to reform their mining laws on the basis of the components of the AMV include Malawi which replaced the Mines and Minerals Act 1981 with the Mines and Minerals Act 2018 and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which came up with the DRC Revised Mining Code of 2018. Other countries in the region such as Zimbabwe and Namibia have on-going legal processes to revise their mining laws
“It is important for us to understand that we can only get the most out of all the initiatives we come up with to best govern our extractive industries by enhancing the institutional capacity on mineral resource governance. On most of the negotiation tables, we are at a disadvantage even before negotiations begin because we do not have enough men and women with the expertise to get us the best deals at the table,” Ms Zano noted
Mr Okwaroh bemoaned the slow pace at which African countries are working to reform the laws regarding mineral resource governance charging that capturing commensurate revenues and benefits from the extractives sector will liberate the continent economically.
“We need to promote ownership and increased buy-in from policymakers in initiatives such as the AMV. We need to open up the policy making space to non-state actors so that we can come up mine taxation frameworks which promote transparency and openness. This is far better than getting loans and placing our resources as collateral, which will make us pass on our indebtedness to future generations,” Mr Okwaroh added.
On loans, Ms Zano emphasized on the need for all borrowings such as loans to be made transparently and reflected in the statements of the nation’s income and expenditure in the national budget.
Emphasizing on the need for the increased participation of the local people in large scale mining ventures, Mr Okwaroh stated: “We need to promote local content participation in the industry by implementing local content laws and supporting the local micro, small and medium enterprises. There is need to strengthen policy frameworks governing artisanal and small-scale mining.”
To withstand the stress on the mining sector occasioned by unexpected misfortunes such as the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the two researches advised countries to prioritise diversification, value addition and beneficiation.
“Developing consistent economic policies and stable macroeconomic environments with fiscal sustainability to endear good economic governance and boost investor confidence thereby encouraging local and foreign investment in large, medium and small -scale mining operations remains key in us getting the most out of our extractive industries,” concluded Ms Zano.
Other notable initiatives which seek to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources includes the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Resource Governance Index, Dodd-Frank Legislation, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) and Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPSC)
Mining is an industry of strategic importance in Southern Africa. Roughly half of the world’s vanadium, platinum, and diamonds originate in the region, along with 36% of gold and 20% of cobalt. The sector accounts for about of 25% of SADC’s GDP, 7 % of direct employment and 20 % of national government revenues.