March 2009


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By ZamChro Correspondent

 

Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has completed upgrade and refurbishment works at its Kafue Gorge power station, adding up to 200 megawatts of excess power on the national grid, Zambian Chronicle learnt Monday.

 

An official with the state-run Energy Regulation Board (ERB) said following the completion of the $90 million works at the power station, ZESCO now produces 1,600 MW of power, compared with the peak power demand of 1,400 MW.

 

We are now producing excess power and we may soon start exporting it to neighboring countries experiencing power shortages, he said. The official added power demand from copper mines has reduced considerably since the start of the year, because of the effects of the global economic turmoil.

 

Copper mines consume 60% of Zambia’s generated power, and since late last year, a number of mines operating in Zambia have either closed down or scaled down operations as global metal prices lowered.

 

Last year, ZESCO had to import emergence power from Congo following a power shortage brought about by increased mining activities. Spurred by a global copper price rally in 2006, a number of mines embarked on expansion projects to increase output, which led to a power shortage.

 

According to ERB, last year, Zambia’s peak power demand was estimated at around 1550 MW but this has since reduced to 1400 MW due to reduced mining activities. However, ERB anticipates power demand to rebound next year and efforts are underway to upgrade other stations such as Kariba north Bank.

 

The Zambian Enterprise is also planning a 400 MW coal power station at the Maamba Collieries coal mine.

 

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By Dambisa Moyo, 

Ten years ago, it would have been hard to find anyone to question the wisdom and morality of the rich world giving billions of dollars in help to the poor world. A generation reared on Live Aid held these truths to be self-evident. 

 

Now, the intellectual trend is all the other way. Streams of economists, politicians and even disillusioned do-gooders have penned powerful critiques of every aspect of aid and the aid industry; men like Paul Collier, William Easterly and Robert Calderisi. Even the high priests of aid, pop stars such as Bono and Bob Geldolf, now preach a much more nuanced and complex gospel than they did in the 1980s.Yet the intellectual arguments about aid are still conducted largely within a small circle of Western white men. So it is good to welcome a new voice to the debate, and a black African woman, too, Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian economist at Goldman Sachs.

 

It is remarkable that so few voices have been raised in Africa, supposedly the main beneficiary of the world’s largesse, about how the aid money should be spent, or even whether it should be received at all.Unfortunately, Moyo’s contribution ends there, for “Dead Aid” does not move the debate along much. Yes, she has joined the chorus of disapproval — and that in itself might surprise a few diehards who think that Africans should just be grateful for the aid and shut up. But her arguments are scarcely original and her plodding prose makes her the least stylish of the critics.

 

Moreover, she overstates her case, almost to the point of caricature. There is almost nobody left, even in the aid lobby, who seriously thinks bilateral (government-to-government) aid is the sole answer to world poverty, as she suggests.“Trade, not aid” is only one of several newish mantras among aidniks that seem to have passed her by. Nonetheless, Moyo is right to argue that the rich world — and Africa — should now focus on other ways of helping poor countries.

 

Moyo shows how some countries, such as Ghana, have successfully tapped the bond markets for funds. She also has good discussions on the virtues of microfinance, venture capital and liberalizing trade. By concentrating on these three, African governments might well raise more money on their own; some might even lessen their dependence on aid.Private investors will always require good governance to ensure their dollars are not misused. This “trumps all,” argues Moyo. She won’t find many Africans who disagree with that. But getting governments like Nigeria’s or Kenya’s actually to walk the talk has proved a much tougher proposition.

 

You can become a fan of Dambisa Moyo on Facebook at this link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?profile&id=49906793787#/pages/Dambisa-Moyo/49906793787

 

About the Author:

Dambisa Moyo was born and raised in Zambia, Southern Africa. She completed a PhD in Economics at Oxford University and holds a Masters from Harvard University. She completed a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and MBA in Finance at the American University in Washington D.C.

 

She worked at Goldman Sachs for 8 years in the debt capital markets, hedge fund coverage and in global macroeconomics teams. Previously she worked at the World Bank in Washington D.C. Dambisa was recently nominated to the Board of Lundin Petroleum – a global independent oil and gas exploration and production company. 

 

Dambisa is a member of Cambridge University’s Centre for International Business and Management (CIBAM), and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). Dambisa is also a Patron for Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), a hedge fund supported children’s charity, and serves on the Board of the Lundin for Africa Foundation, which pledged US$100 million towards microfinance initiatives.

 

 

Dambisa Moyo - Zambian Born Global Economist

Dambisa Moyo - Zambian Born Global Economist

Dambisa argues for more innovative ways for Africa to finance development including trade with China, accessing the capital markets, and microfinance. 

 

 

 

 

Dambisa has also been offered a contract for another book, entitled How the West Was Lost, scheduled for publication with Penguin and Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2010.

 

 

This book examines the policy errors made in the US and other Western economies which culminated in the 2008 financial crisis.

 

 

And discusses why financial and economic experts missed the signs of the credit crunch. It also explores the policy decisions that have placed the emerging world- China, Russia and the Middle East, in pole position to become the dominant economic players in the 21st century. 

 

Disclaimer: The content of this memo has been modified to fit Zambian Chronicle multi-media format, any legal repercussions deriving therefore shall not be interpreted as misnomers and shall not be the direct responsibility of Zambian Chronicle. And while Zambian Chronicle agrees with the premise thereof, we shall bare no legal responsibilities on any matters arising therefrom. 

 

 

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CAIRO (AP) — Dennis Banda scored a second-half equalizer Sunday to help Zambia hold African champion Egypt to a 1-1 draw in a World Cup qualifying match.Amr Zaki had put Egypt in the lead in the 28th minute, but Banda scored in the 56th to give the Zambians one point in Group C of African qualifying.
Zambia National Team - Chipolopolo ...

Zambia National Team - Chipolopolo ...

Egypt last qualified for the World Cup in 1990, but the team is favored to reach the 2010 tournament in South Africa after winning the last two African Cup of Nations titles.

All four teams in Group C, which also includes Algeria and Rwanda, have one point after one match, with only the group winners qualifying for the World Cup.

 

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Japan has signed a two hundred and 74 billion Kwacha loan agreement with the Zambian government.

The money will be used to connect more areas to the National Electricity Grid and build mini hydro power plants.

 

Speaking during the signing ceremony Japanese Charge de Affaires, Toshihiko Horiuphi, his country considers access to electricity as a critical pre-requisite to eradicating poverty.

 

And Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, said the loan will enable government increase the number of households accessing electricity.  

 

He said this will in turn enhance Zambia’s economic performance. The loan is from Japan’s Official Development Assistance Programme to Africa.

 

In another development Japan has given the ministry of Local Government a grant of about one billion kwacha to buy spare parts for hand pumps in the country.

 

Local Government permanent Secretary, Coillard Chibbonta, says latest statistics indicate that 30 percent of existing bore holes in Zambia are not functioning due to broken down hand pumps.

 

He says the money will therefore help to repair the hand pumps and ensure sustained access to water in rural areas of Zambia.

 

The grant has been given under the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme.

 

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By Karin Brulliard
Washington Post Foreign Service

LUANSHYA, Zambia — The global economic meltdown swept into this company town and took down the copper mine in January. It left in its wake a crisis measured in unsold tomatoes at the market, empty stomachs and desperate people lined up outside Chishimba Kambwili’s pink house each morning.

Underground Mining ...

Underground Mining ...

 

“This town is fully dependent on the mine,” Kambwili, the town’s parliamentary representative, said before handing $9 of his own money to one visitor who said that laid-off miners no longer buy her sugary fritters, that the landlord was about to kick her out and that she had six mouths to feed. “The majority of people are now wallowing in abject poverty.”

Mines here in Zambia’s Copperbelt region drive this poor nation’s economy, but a plunge in global trade has slashed demand for the copper used to construct electronics and houses in the United States and Asia. That is prompting mines here to slow and shut, limiting tens of thousands of Zambians’ access to schooling, health care and regular meals.

Africa‘s resource-fueled economies have grown steadily in recent years, improving the lives of millions of people. Now, as prices drop for Botswana’s diamonds, Chad’s oil and Tanzania’s cotton, a crisis that began in the rich world is threatening to drive millions more into poverty, according to the World Bank, and raising the specter of unrest.

For laid-off mine electrician Lucas Ngoma, feeding a family of eight has come to mean bartering a DVD player for a sack of dried fish.

“We used to eat three meals a day. Now we do one,” said Ngoma, 45. “We will be rationing. One fish can be shared.”

Of the 26 countries the International Monetary Fund has flagged as “highly vulnerable” to the shocks of the global crisis, half are in Africa. The fund has scaled back its 2009 growth forecast for the continent from 6.7 percent to 3.25 percent.

The problem is not just a collapse in commodities prices. Foreign investment is receding in countries such as South Africa and Kenya. Remittances are dropping in Liberia. Aid flows from economically stressed donor countries might retreat. Much will depend on how quickly advanced economies recover, according to experts and African leaders, who warn that a prolonged downturn could stir turmoil.

“We must ensure that Africa is not left out,” Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF’s managing director, told African finance ministers at a conference this month. “This is not only about protecting economic growth and household incomes — it is also about containing the risk of civil unrest, perhaps even of war. It is about people and their futures.”

Among the hardest-hit African nations is copper-rich Zambia, which derives about two-thirds of its export earnings from the metal. The industry boomed as the price of copper soared to more than $8,000 a ton last summer, helping drive Zambia’s 5.8 percent growth rate for 2008. By December, when the price had fallen more than 60 percent, the mines, which had spent billions in recent years on exploration and new technologies, began operating at losses. In recent days, the price has been about $3,900 per ton.

The nation’s currency, the kwacha, has tumbled more than 70 percent against the dollar since last summer. Zambia’s government predicts 5 percent growth this year, a rate economists say would be miraculous. Most forecast growth of 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

Scrambling to deal with the crunch, Zambia is seeking a $200 million emergency loan from the IMF. It has extended a carrot to mining houses by scrapping a major tax on their profits. To curb dependence on copper, the finance minister has proposed boosting funds for agriculture, tourism and infrastructure — key, experts say, to developing industries in a landlocked nation with few paved roads and a dismal power system.

But the timing might be all wrong, some say.

“You cannot diversify under a crisis of this nature,” said Oliver Saasa, a consultant and former economics professor at the University of Zambia in Lusaka, the capital. “In Zambia, we will depend on what happens elsewhere.”

According to unions, mines have shed nearly 10,000 permanent workers and thousands of contractors and suppliers, and more layoffs are in the pipeline. Those numbers are significant in a nation with a formal workforce estimated at 400,000, 10 percent of which is employed in mining.

Government officials have said they are pressuring limping mines to surrender their assets to the state and can quickly find new owners, a claim industry executives and economists doubt given the global credit crunch. Officials said one firm interested in the Luanshya mine is NFC Africa, a Chinese company that runs one Zambian mine. That is a wildly unpopular option among many miners and officials, who complain that the firm pays poorly and provides unsafe working conditions.

“But in terms of us as the government bailing out the mines,” Maxwell Mwale, minister of mines and minerals development, said in an interview, “we have no capacity.”

In this Northern Province, copper is the lifeblood. Nearly all mines provide schools and hospitals for miners and their families, and salaries of at least $200 a month provide something resembling a living.

The mines were privatized in the late 1990s, and their expansion since then has had a ripple effect. Guesthouses sprang up to lodge visiting executives from Canada and India. Grocery stores and bars serving miners mushroomed. Though little wealth trickled down, state data indicate that steady economic growth has coincided with reduced poverty in urban areas.

Now, copper is driving things the other way. The Mining Mirror newspaper is in danger of folding because of plummeting ad revenue. Copperbelt soccer teams have lost sponsorships from the mining houses, and the massive Konkola Copper Mines has stopped paying the salary for the coach of the national team. Traffic on the roads has slowed, and goods are expiring on store shelves.

Lizzy Sifaya, the owner of a cleaning company with contracts at many of the mines, said she has had to lay off nearly 80 percent of her 350 employees as mines cut costs. One large mine, she said, told her to forget cleaning the offices and “focus on the toilets.”

Over the past year, malnutrition among children younger than 5 has jumped 15 to 20 percent in urban areas, including Copperbelt towns, said Pablo Recalde, country director for the World Food Program.

Luanshya Copper Mines, one of Zambia’s smallest, shut down in January, and 1,720 miners were let go. The maximum severance pay was 10 months’ salary, money that in many cases was immediately devoured by bank loans, said Stanslas Mwimbe, a Luanshya representative for the Mineworkers Union of Zambia. Though few in town worked there, Kambwili, the parliamentary representative, estimated that the mine supported 90 percent of Luanshya’s 180,000 residents.

The mine still allows miners’ families to use its school and clinic free of charge. But in interviews, several residents who did not work there — but whose businesses thrived on miners’ consumption — said they were unable to pay for health care or public school fees.

Kambwili said he thinks the frustration will soon explode if the mine does not reopen.

“There’s always a limit for people to be patient,” said Kambwili, who last month led 1,000 Luanshya residents in a protest against the mine closure. “They will have to fight for what belongs to them.”

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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By Frank Nyakairu

 

LUSAKA, March 25 (Reuters) – Zambia and Namibia face their worst floods in at least 40 years as rains swell the Zambezi River to record levels, destroying crops and swamping whole villages, disaster officials and aid workers said on Wednesday.

 

Zambia has put its air force on standby to airlift people to safety and Namibia has declared a state of emergency in flood-hit areas as waterways burst their banks in the narrow Caprivi Strip between Zambia and Botswana.

 

Some 400,000 people have been affected on both sides of Namibia’s border with Angola alone, the international Red Cross movement said, adding that the number was likely to rise.

 

“We’ve heard some incredible stories,” Matthew Cochrane, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said by telephone from the town of Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi Strip.

 

“Communities totally cut off by rising water, and quickly. Crocodile attacks, hippo attacks, snake bites. These are some of the risks people face. Then there are the more mundane risks: malarial and diarrhea diseases, and just the lack of food.”

 

In some villages, 70 to 80 percent of food stocks had been wiped out, Cochrane said.

 

“It’s a real sense that it’s bad but it’s getting much worse,” he added. “The water is already approaching 8 meters (26 feet) and it will surpass that in coming days.”

 

Data from Namibia’s Hydrological Service showed river levels along the Kavango River at their highest since 1963. Those in the Upper Zambezi River were at peaks not seen since 1969 and rising.

 

The official death toll in Namibia is 92 but aid workers said it would almost certainly be much higher.

 

In Zambia, water levels in some districts were higher than they had been since 1969, threatening crops ahead of the critical summer growing season.

 

“We are asking people to leave low land for higher lands because the waters are increasing fast,” said Dominican Mulenga, national coordinator of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit.

 

He said the road linking Zambia and Zimbabwe was damaged, cutting off Shang’ombo district from the rest of the country.

 

The Southern Province of Zambia is the worst hit, with more than 20,000 households affected and 5,000 houses destroyed the Swiss branch of relief group Action by Churches Together said.

 

Hydrological experts played down fears the rising waters could overwhelm the Kariba dam on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, creating a regional catastrophe for countries downstream including Mozambique and Malawi.

 

But Peter Rees-Gildea, the IFRC’s head of operations in Geneva, said the organization was keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Izilda, which was heading for Mozambique’s east coast.

 

In January, rains in Malawi and Zambia caused flooding in Mozambique that killed 45 people and left 285,000 homeless, the worst floods to hit the country since 2000-2001 when 700 people died and half a million lost their homes. (Writing and extra reporting by Tim Large in London; Editing by Charles Dick) (For more news on humanitarian issues visit http://www.alertnet.org)

 

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

 

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Most people get busy trying to analyze themselves as they figure out their place in this world. Don’t worry if that’s you, I used to do the same … I grew up analyzing everything about myself, from my physical appearance, to the way I expressed myself.

 

Natasha Josephine Kaskie - ZamChro Syndicated Columnist

Natasha Josephine Kaskie - ZamChro Syndicated Columnist

I always had high expectations such as of being the most unique, or most artistic. But then, I realized something … There is no such thing as “most” of anything. Everyone is who they are for a reason, and nobody is more special than another.

 

 

 

 

 

If we were meant to be equal then we all would not be here. Only the most perfect of us all would have been required to be there, to perform all functions for humanity. We all contribute to the world in some way, and that is why you must accept yourself for who you are.

 

If you feel you are worthless or insignificant, I can relate to that too. I used to feel the same way as well. But you have to look at the big picture: you ARE important, and you have your own unique qualities that make you who you are.

 

There are usually other factors that pull us down as well because it is often hard to think positive, especially if others bombard you with negative thoughts. But that’s another topic for another time all together.

 

However, you must believe that no other opinion should matter or alter the image you have of yourself. No other opinion does matter from anyone, really. All that matters is how you see and accept yourself. With that attitude and understanding, you can accomplish anything.

 

That attitude and understanding, is the initial building block for an advanced social system concept that allows you to relate with others. You would know fully well what they are thinking but you navigate their perception of you with what you believe yourself to be.

 

A positive way to start changing your way of thinking is to actually list all the positive qualities that are you. Write down all the things, no matter how small or large they may seem to you individually. All the qualities you believe make you unique.

 

Do not be afraid to have confidence in what you write, you have all the reason to show yourself how powerful you really believe you are! And remember, even if you feel that your importance is small, it’s really not.

 

Everything helps each other survive in life’s cycle. Read what you wrote, and look at yourself in the mirror. Study the soul behind your eyes, rather than criticize your physical appearance.

 

Look for the good that glows from within, and embrace it. By looking deeply into yourself, understanding the reasons behind all your good and bad actions, and knowing that only understands how you see yourself matters, and then only would you be on a true path to self acceptance.

 

Once you realize that you are the only you out there, and accept it, life’s purpose will seem more meaningful. For the meaning you will find will glorify the beauty of your individuality, and everlasting wisdom will follow.

 

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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