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Well, ladies and gentlemen; the numbers are in and our team has been working hard to be as accurate as possible. The verdict is clear, Levy P Mwanawasa, SC. has posthumously clearly won the Zambian Chronicle “Africa’s President of the Year Award” for 2008.

 

Most people in our audience know that Zambian Chronicle was started last year as an alternative multi-media private enterprise committed to raising the standard, while increasing awareness not only in Africa but around the world and last year’s award went to Zine El Abidine Ben Ali president of Tunisia.

 

You can read more about last year’s award and conditions as well as modalities used to reach that consideration by clicking on this link; Zambian Chronicle’s African President of the Year (2007) Award Goes To President Ben Ali of Tunisia …

 

Last year Levy P Mwanawasa, SC. ended up in the top 7 presidents on the continent in critical areas but had a favorable rating ranking him in the overall top 5% percentile. We expanded this year’s recital parameters because we wanted rankings to include among other things performance based criterion during a president’s tenure apart from national indices only.

 

GDP per capita growth

Levy scored highest in the criteria because nominal GDP per capita growth is an important aspect of how well the general populace perform in a given economy. It has a direct bearing on how well the citizenry are benefiting from local economic growth.

 

Nominal GDP figures include less estimation and more accurately reflect the participation of the inhabitants of a country in the global economy as well. These figures are so important that each year three different organizations (IMF, World Bank and CIA) each come up with different ones.

 

In our analyses we used a grossing method that gave us weighted averages. So from the time he took over office to his death in 2008, LPM presided over a nominal GDP per capita growth that grew a staggering 300% from as low as $360 to $1,400.00. Of course the world best is over $44,000.00 but $1,400.00 was a great start for us.

 

This did not come by sheer luck, LPM and his team worked so hard that they negotiated outstanding public liabilities with donor nations and other ultra-vires creditors that they managed to wipe out our national debt from a staggering $7 billion to as low as $500 million.

 

Our own national reserves increased from zero at the time he took over to $1.4 billion. In fact as we report today, Zambia has FX reserves to protect against any outflows, says Central Bank Governor Dr. Caleb Fundanga …  In terms of percentage growth, the number is actually infinity because nothing can be divided into zero.

 

Gross official reserves include Bank of Zambia’s (BoZ) holdings of foreign cash, foreign exchange and foreign securities, Zambia’s reserve position at the IMF, and SDR holdings. Gross reserves data is compiled on daily basis by adding/subtracting transactions for the day to/from the previous day’s position.

 

These transactions cover all purchases and sales of foreign exchange, donor inflows, debt service disbursements, government and BoZ uses of foreign exchange, interest receipts and payments, valuation gains and losses and any other inflows and outflows.

 

There simply is no comparison as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area at all.

 

Transparency Index

This was the hardest of all parameter for us because data complied by Transparency International from 2000 to 2008 was different in many aspects. This is because the organization changed their reporting structure and added more variables in their indices that make up what they call Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

 

While in 2000 they only reported on 90 nations, for instance; they increased that to almost 180 for 2008. In 2000 Zambia shared the 57th position with Latvia but in 2008 despite being low, some of the variables were due to lack of enough raw data.

 

So, in certain areas if we used the same string of data from 2000 to 2008 as complied by Transparent International, a lot of flaws would have been discovered because in some instances we would have been comparing apples to oranges and the resultant would not have been either logical or asymmetrical.

 

So for us at the Zambian Chronicle we looked more at how general business practices improved on the ground within the Zambian Enterprise. We looked at the unprecedented bold decisions LPM took on the continent to an extend of striping of his predecessor immunity due to alleged past corrupt practices.

 

Never before had this ever happened on the continent of Africa but it showed his commitment to building a different nation that did not do business as usual. This earned him a lot of sway among western nations and increased his capital as a steward of good governance.

 

We looked at how he let the law take its course without interfering in any way possible despite all kinds of pressure from all avenues and forums … I am proud to report even pressure from us at the Zambian Chronicle at times, for instance.

 

We looked at how level-headed he was about graft and its other derivatives and found no comparison as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

National GDP growth

This is not supposed to be confused with the nominal GDP per capita above. While the earlier has to do with individual(s) income and subsequent participation in a national economy the later has to do with the overall national economic growth.

 

GDP real growth has to do with the total goods and services produced and or consumed in a given year and it is the best measure of national wealth and a nation’s capacity to compete in terms of movement of goods and services.

 

Even more what we were interested in was not just GDP real growth but GDP (real) growth rate which shows the increase in value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. It does not take into account purchasing power parity neither does it account for inflation. It is a measure of economic development.

 

That real growth rate is extremely important because it is the one that eventually gives a nation the ability to surpass another or be replaced by another in terms of economic development and or ranking. For example, 100 years ago the economy of the United State of America and that of Mexico were the same size numerically.

 

However, the US economy grew by one more percentage point rate higher than that of Mexico each year for those 100 years and today America has the world’s largest economy while Mexico ranks as the 52nd.

 

Furthermore, China had been lagging behind most economies all the way through the 90’s until it turned its economic engines to supercharged status. Within 10 years, it surpassed the Italian, French, British and German economies because of having a reasonable real GDP real growth rate. Today it is the world third largest economy.

 

On the African continent, Angola has enjoyed the status of one of the fastest growing economies not only in Africa but in the world. For instance its growth rate in 2005 was over 19% making it the world’s second fastest growing economy. In 2007 its rate was over 16.30% making it the world’s third fastest growing economy.

 

But what makes the Zambian Chronicle vouch for Levy (LPM) was the fact that when he inherited the economy of the Zambian Enterprise we were actually experiencing negative growth rates more like Zimbabwe (-6%) this year.

 

What LPM did was to reverse the trend from such negatives to the extend of almost -7% in the late 90’s to a positive 8% last year. This means that LPM tenure presided over a turn around of almost 15% into positive territory. It is so much easier to keep an economy in positive territory as opposed to moving it from a negative to a positive one but Levy did it.

 

Somehow he turned non performing assets such as mines, some that were almost flooded because they had been inoperable for a long time into profit making enterprises for the benefit of all within the Zambian Enterprise.

 

He commissioned new ones such as Lumwana that spurred new economic activities even in forgotten places like North Western Province turning the area in a new Copperbelt with new discoveries ranging from Oil and Gas to Gold and new Uranium deposits.

 

We began to be a premier tourist attraction again like there was something wrong with us in the first place. He created a conducive environment for commerce to thrive by and for all and all of a sudden commercial flights were being diverted to Lusaka instead of Gaborone, Lubito and Harare.

 

All of a sudden Lusaka was were it was all at, as we saw Bill Clinton Jets Into Zambia while the Best Ever US Ambassador To Zambia – Carmen M Martinez was busy cozying our relations and Mrs Bush With Zambian Kids – PlayPump™ having fun.

 

We looked, compared and contrasted with any other president on the continent who turned economic activities around within such a short period and we found none. There simply were no comparisons as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

Food security

With Levy at the helm, the Zambian Enterprise moved from being a donor recipient to a donor. Our enterprise moved from food shortages to Zambia to export 150,000 T white maize … as late as December 15, 2007 but today we will need to import a million tones.

 

Using government subsidies and proper farm produce marking strategies, Levy working in concert with his Minister of Agriculture then Mundia Sikatana created incentives within the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) that spurred agricultural production to unprecedented level on the continent of Africa.

 

Within his first term we had attained food security as well as sufficiency, were looking at donations and export for white maize a thing that had never happened in Zambian history. There simply were no comparisons as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

Peace Index Analysis

For this analysis we used a qualitative assessment of the level of distrust in other citizens, ranked from 1-5 (very low to very high) by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Analysis team.

 

The lowest score (1) records that the majority of other people can be trusted and that there is an overall positive climate of trust in the country. The highest score (5) indicates that people are extremely cautious in dealing with others.

 

We found this unit of measure to be the most accurate and espoused it in totality and we were impressed to find that Zambia actually beat a lot of major western nations even when it comes to being a peaceful nation.

 

For instance, when Levy noticed injustices and what impact they had on peace in neighboring Zimbabwe, he was first to condemn Robert Mugabe calling the situation a “Sinking Titanic”. Never before had this ever happened in Africa where a sitting president openly rebuked another for the sake of world peace.

 

While Levy may not personally claim that big prize nationally as it had been passed on to him from his two predecessors, the very fact that he kept Zambia even more safe and improved on earlier released figures combined with other factors such as above is reason to give him first place on our continent by Zambian Chronicle.

 

We looked, compared and contrasted with any other president on the continent who turned economic activities around within such a short period and we found none. There simply were no comparisons as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

Other World Social, Economic & Political Indicators

While different social, economic and political contexts were used in comparing crime data from societies that are fundamentally different and may ignore key issues present within the Zambian Enterprise that impact upon levels of reporting some similarities were drawn.

 

For example, different social norms in some countries may make it difficult for women to report cases of rape or sexual abuse, while in others; women are encouraged to come forward. The level of insurance coverage in a community is also a key indicator of the likelihood of citizens approaching the police as their claim for compensation may require such notification.

 

In addition, in societies where the police are or have been mistrusted by the population, most specifically during periods of authoritarian rule, reporting levels are likely to be lower than in cases where the police are regarded as important members of the community.

 

The International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS) is perhaps a more sensitive and accurate measure of crime – and arguably offers a picture of how the public views the criminal justice system – but is currently limited to a few, mainly industrialized, countries so these data are not included.

 

But what we found was rather shocking for a developing nation that the Zambian Enterprise actually ranked above average on the continent during Levy’s tenure. There simply were no comparisons as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

Overall, for us it was not just a question of bias, it was more of logic, data analysis and factual that we were able to crown levy P Mwanawasa, SC with the honorable title of “Africa’s President of the Year Award” for 2008 posthumously.

 

Long Live Levism, Long Live Levism, May Your Soul Rest In God’s Eternal Peace and congratulations for scooping this year’s Zambian Chronicle “Africa’s President of the Year Award” for 2008.

 

Compliments of the Season, Live Long & Prosper; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO  & President – Zambian Chronicle 

 

Copyrights © 2008 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. 

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

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By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia has enough currency reserves to protect the economy in case the illness of President Levy Mwanawasa prompts some reduction in foreign investment, central bank Governor Caleb Fundanga said on Tuesday.

Fundanga said the only slight worry of the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) was rising oil and food prices, which threatened its single digit inflation target. However, he remained optimistic of achieving 7.0 percent annual inflation in December this year.

Fundanga said it was evident the illness of Mwanawasa, who is in a French hospital after suffering a second stroke, had caused anxiety among some investors but that there was “no need for panic”.

“The investors in the mines will continue exporting copper. It is possible that … some investors may decide to pull out, but we have enough reserves, $1.4 billion held by the Bank of Zambia and another $1 billion by commercial banks,” Fundanga told a news conference, adding Zambia had 5.6 months of import cover.

Mwanawasa impressed the International Monetary Fund and other Western donors by cracking down on government spending and launching an anti-corruption drive.

Fundanga said Zambia had investment pledges totalling $1.8 billion so far this year compared with just $1 billion in the first six months of 2007. The government has previously said a number of these investments have been fulfilled.

“Naturally, as a result of the illness of the captain, as some refer to the president, there are some people who might be feeling uncomfortable. Given this situation, are we vulnerable? Will all forex (foreign exchange) dry up? The answer is ‘no’,” Fundanga added.

He said mining and non-traditional sectors had continued to perform satisfactorily with copper export earnings for the three months to June just 0.1 percent lower than the previous quarter’s earnings, at $967.6 million.

Fundanga said non-traditional exports at $187.6 million at end-June were 12.3 percent above the $167.1 million recorded in the previous quarter ending in March.

“Favourable export earnings have led to the strengthening of the external sector reflected in the appreciation of the kwacha against major currencies and a 10 percent increase in international reserves to $1,338.4 billion in June 2008 from $1,216.3 billion in March 2008,” he said.

There were inflationary pressures from a 15 percent wage increase for civil servants from January and from higher global oil prices, which would put pressure on transport and commodity prices.

“However, these pressures may be mitigated by pass-through effects of the appreciation of the exchange rate of the (Zambian) kwacha against major currencies on account of external sector performance,” Fundanga said.

Fundanga said the kwacha appreciated 11.3 percent against the dollar in the three months to June to trade at an average of 3,259/dollar.

“We cannot give up on 7.0 percent inflation at the end of the year because we have enough food to feed ourselves and we will not necessarily be affected by global food prices,” he added.

(Lusaka newsroom + 260-977843609/260-955779523)

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NEW DELHI: After giving China a tax free zone, the southern African nation of Zambia wants to create a similar exclusive economic zone for Indian companies to bring “value-addition” to its mining industry. “We have had a long partnership in India, with investments in several areas. But what has been lacking was visibility. This zone will help in improving India’s profile (in Zambia),” visiting Zambian Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry Felix Mutati said.

He said that the offer was specifically drawn up to mark his visit to India for the fourth India-Africa business conclave. “I have not yet told my president of my decision. But we need to make quick decisions nowadays,” he said, tongue-in-cheek. The landlocked African nation, whose economy has been traditionally dominated by copper mining, has already approved two multi-facility economic zones being developed by the Malaysians and the Chinese.

“If the Malaysians can do it, why not India, which is a bigger country,” he asked. Malaysia was the first to ink a deal for a multi-facility economic zone (MFEZ) last year, followed by China, which is currently negotiating an agreement with the Zambians.

The minister said that the Chinese planned to invest nearly $900 million to develop the tax-free zone. “We want the Indian zone to be at least $900 million. If it’s smaller, then it will not have the visibility,” he said, adding that 30 sq km land had already been identified in the central province of Kabwe, about 150 km from capital Lusaka, for the special economic zone.

The Zambian minister said that he would like Indian firms to focus on supply of equipment and processing of raw products. “While we have a lot of mining activity, we have to export all the raw materials for processing outside as there is no proper processing plant,” he said.

Pointing out that Zambia was surrounded by eight nations, who were also mineral-rich, Mutati said: “Our neighbours like Congo, Angola and Mozambique also have active mining industries, which could also be catered by this proposed economic zone.”

He said that he was already in talks with the Tata Group, which had shown interest in setting up a plant in the proposed zone, while another Indian industrial group will be visiting Zambia next week to survey the site. Mutati said that once Indian firms invested in the tax-free zone, they would act as “marketing tools” to attract more Indian investment in other parts of the economy.

Currently, India has a share of 50 percent of Zambia’s mining industry, while the Chinese have 15 percent – courtesy Vedanta Resources’ majority stake in the country’s largest copper mines, Konkola, at a cost of $1.2 billion. The total Indian investment in Zambia is estimated to be $2 billion, with capital flowing in other sectors like banking, health and education too.

While he does not foresee India losing its strong position in the Zambian mining industry, Mutati was clear that China’s “whole new way of doing business” in the continent had to be matched by the Indians. “The Chinese start to work behind the scenes, but they come and make a decision there and then. After that, they start to work backward, asking for data on the projects,” he said.

He cited the example of the Chinese MFEZ in his country to illustrate his point. “They have already constructed 30-40 percent of the buildings, but it is only now that they are negotiating an agreement,” said Mutati. Similarly, he said, the Chinese had announced an investment of $1 billion in the mining sector, but were yet to see the land. “Chinese do and assess, while Indians assess and do,” said Mutati.

He was also appreciative of the Chinese strategy to combine their acquisition of licences for resources with development of infrastructure. “In a neighbouring country, the Chinese have offered to build 3,000 km of road in a swap for a mining concession of 20 years,” he said. “Indian firms need to be more aggressive, otherwise they are losing out,” warned Mutati.

Source: Economic Times

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IMF Report A little too late, Zambian Chronicle Already Warned GRZ
click here: Zambia’s Short To Medium Term Outlook – Extremely Encouraging …
By Shapi Shacinda
LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia has made strides in growing its economy but needs to handle commodity price windfalls prudently and develop infrastructure to avert a possible recession, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

IMF board members were in Zambia to assess economic progress made since the fund, the World Bank and other western financiers reduced the southern African country’s foreign debt to $502 million in 2006 from $7.1 billion.

“We acknowledge that despite the impressive economic performance and positive medium term outlook, challenges and risks remain,” the IMF directors said in a statement after a meeting with President Levy Mwanawasa.

Zambia’s economy has grown by an average 5 percent in the past six years and it has brought inflation to single digits for the first time in three decades.

The Fund said Zambia needed to manage windfall from higher commodity prices wisely to maintain steady economic growth. Copper mining is the cornerstone of the Zambian economy.

Video Clip Add By Us – Underground Mining in Chingola

“We would note two important challenges … the first being how to manage the macro impact of large foreign exchange inflow,” said Miranda Xafa, an IMF director.

“You certainly do not want to get into a boom (and) bust cycle that others have found themselves in, in that while the boom and bust lasts, they try to spend it all at once and while commodity prices fall, they slow down in possible recession.”

Treasury data showed Zambia received nearly $1.5 billion in foreign direct investments while earnings in copper exports were around $4.7 billion in 2007.

“The second challenge is building the infrastructure and removing impediments to private sector development . . . to improve the business climate by facilitating investments and growth,” Xafa said.

The IMF also discussed a new financing package of a “small” undisclosed amount with Zambia after the expiry of the $320 million three-year poverty reduction growth facility.

The IMF warned Zambia about managing its debt.

“We are aware that the government is now seeking a sovereign credit rating that will facilitate access to international capital markets and we are confident that the government will use these funds wisely,” Xafa said.

“We would caution that after this debt forgiveness, it is important to maintain debt sustainability by using non-concessionary borrowing to finance viable projects (that) have a rate of return high enough to justify the borrowing.”

Mwanawasa told the board members that Zambia would continue with prudent macroeconomic management and economic reforms to attract further foreign direct investments.

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ü      Create A New People Driven Constitution

The greatest single most achievement the Zambian Enterprise can accomplish for 2008 as a milestone is to produce a new constitution using the National Constitution Conference (NCC) as a vehicle.  

If all stakeholders felt that their constitution provided for equal opportunities, guaranteed civil liberties and protection for all, the enterprise would have achieved strides worth thousands in light years.  

In that regard it is highly palatable that peace loving individuals will give the NCC delegates all the needed support to achieve this milestone. The October 6, 2001 issue of the Economist magazine carried a story about Turkey’s Constitutional Amendments.

“… MANY Turks have long thought of their parliament as a bunch of buffoons interested mainly in making money, not laws. That may change, as the 550-member chamber keeps up a marathon session to pass a set of reforms that are intended to clean the face of Turkey’s constitution and reinforce the country’s still rather wobbly democracy.”

At issue was the fact that both political philosophies represented in the Turkish parliament approved what seemed on paper as the best brand of policies any mid eastern nation would espouse but the ideas only looked great on paper.

We are hoping the great genius minds of the smart people of our enterprise respresenting us in NCC will come up with a document that can stand the test of time. These delegates are the framers; we are hopeful they will envision a Zambia that will be there for centuries to come because they framed the right manuscript on behalf of us all. 

ü      Deliberate Infra-Structure Investment

Infra-structural development is about capacity building and very critical to national development. Without capacity economies don’t grow with healthy veracities.

Capacity enables a country to handle tasks with great ease and lack thereof creates auxiliary derivatives such as development of shanty compounds in the middle of a metropolitan area.  

In this modern day and age infra-structure capacity does not refer to road, railways, subways, modern airports, etc. alone, it also refers communication apparatus such as turning Mwembeshi into a super information highway, for instance. 

It involves well stocked libraries in city centers, schools, colleges and universities with a deliberate attempt to have all these connected to the internet.  Tunisians did it and their population is one of the most literate on our continent, it is no wonder they have poverty levels at 4% of their population with nearly a tenth of natural resources when compared to us. 

It involves well planned town, cities and provinces with town planners whose eyes are on the ball. Japanese planners have 15 year projections with simulations accompanying … it is no wonder they enjoy one of the highest qualities of life in the entire world.  

With a billion dollars in reserves, the Zambian Enterprise has more than enough in it’s back pocket to invest into infra-structure that matters …

ü      Create Economic Zones In Each Province

One of the greatest achievements of the UNIP government was the creation of provincial economic zones deliberately planned to urbanize rural areas. They were not termed that way but their objectives met all the prerequisites of such.  

Livingstone had ITT Supersonic and Livingstone Motor Assemblers, Mansa had Mansa batteries, lead and manganese mines, Chipata had Eastern Industries that made Eagle bicycles, Mongu had canneries and so did Mwinilunga; the copperbelt was an economic engine, the list is endless. 

When the MMD came into power they literately had no clue what they wanted to accomplish except privatization. In fact, they mistook democracy in many instances with privatization. They abolished the office of National Planning because they thought it advocated for a command economy. 

Using other forums at the time we advocated for national planning that had a neo-spin to it, laid down the benefits of such schemes but it wasn’t until the current president came into office that they reinitiated planning mostly tailored on proposal of this author. 

Well planned economic zones not only mitigate urban migration en masse, they also help accelerate national development at exponential rates well across the board.  Besides if you fail to plan, you are in an essence planning to fail …  

One reason, Malaysia stood out among the Asian tigers was because it deliberately initiated economic zones and today the world’s tallest buildings are not in Western Europe nor are they in the Americas but in Central Asia.  

ü      Continue Keeping Macro-Economic Factors Under Control

Macro-economic factors and dwindling investor confidence are always behind corporate underperformance.  Among the macro factors concerns over interest rates, high oil prices, staple commodity prices and jitters over the reserve currency weakness impact economic growth … 

These factors lead to markets savagely punishing companies thus failing to produce the goods and services at optimal capacity. Companies that record profits tend to be tarred with the same brush and their share price don’t respond to their profits.  

When the market starts to focus back on company-specific issues rather than the macro-economic picture and look at those that are turning themselves around, performance picks up. 

There is no doubt that Fundanga at BOZ and Mangande at Finance have been among the best choices our enterprise has picked for their respective jobs but short term gains can easily blur one’s focus. 

It is therefore extremely necessary that they keep their eyes on the ball with the big picture in mind because if we don’t continue keeping the macro-economic factors under check, the unprecedented 85% growth LuSE experienced last year might be lost … 

Strict investment philosophies in the market tend to sometimes make publicly traded companies to under perform but investor confidence makes people start looking at companies showing above average growth so long macro-economic factors are in favor.  

ü      Reform Tax Rules

The old adage of two things one should be sure of being taxes and death remains true to this day. So weaknesses in the institutional framework need to quickly be identified to make necessary adjustments. 

One of the most important factors in good policy-making is the strengthening of the institutions that contribute to it. The tax policy-making process should heavily rely on institutional strength to see it through periods of major transitions such as our Enterprise is going through right now … 

Dealing with enforcement and operational policies is not only a good initiative when it comes to strengthening the treasure, it also helps narrow the role of the other revenue  collecting units thereby reducing excesses while increasing proceeds. 

Parliamentary scrutiny of tax proposals tends to be increasingly ineffective as tax legislation becomes more complex. This is because our current Members of Parliament have no dedicated independent groups of economists and lawyers to support them on budgetary matters. 

Outside the framework of government,  institutions like the University of Zambia’s economic studies should provide virtually more and not just research-based independent economic analysis on taxation policy.  

Business leaders should also be encouraged in the systematic use of consultations, at least on business tax issues. Drawing business in to contribute to the refinement of ideas emerging from government helps fill the gap left by the broader weakness of institutions.  

But business should not be responsible for developing tax policy as this leads to signs of consultation-fatigue. Their role should be limited to consultancy and be used as a barometer that measures what impact tax proposals have on operational efficiencies. 

Given the importance of institutional strength to consistency and stability in policy-making and the classy-daddy-3.gifimportance of that consistency and stability in maintaining economic growth and development, there is a strong case for more comparative inter-jurisdictional work to be carried out on the institutional framework of tax policy-making.  

That’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion. 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2008 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.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.     

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By JAMES MUYANWA

levy.jpgPRESIDENT Levy Mwanawasa has told Zambians to prepare themselves to participate in global economy as Government increases citizens’ access to investments through the programmes of the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission that kick off this year.

Addressing the nation on ZNBC radio and television on the even of the New Year, President Mwanawasa said that Government would increase the Zambians’ access to investment through the CEEC, which would enable all citizens, including women and the youth to have an opportunity to fully exploit their entrepreneurial abilities.

Dr Mwanawasa said the creation of multi-facility economic zone in Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces was another way of empowering the local people and uplift their standards of living through job creations.

He said Government on its part would continue implementing prudent macro-economic policies to safeguard gains made so far while ensuring the economic activities benefited the people. The focus for this year would, therefore, to grow the economy by at least seven per cent, he said.

Dr Mwanawasa said Government was keen to ensure that Zambians fully participated in the economic affairs at all levels including the international one, and urged the Zambian private sector to actively participate in the procurement and exploration of petroleum.

Dr Mwanawasa said Government had worked hard to overcome the challenges, which had been causing the intermittent disruptions in the supply of petroleum. Government had now introduced a long-term supply system, he said.

“As regards petroleum exploration, I am pleased to note that in the past year, Government has engaged stakeholders in order to finalise proposed amendments to the Petroleum Exploration Act of 1985,” he said.

Dr Mwanawasa said as soon as amendments to the Act were effected the nation would witness exploration activities in some provinces particularly North-Western Province where selected blocks had already been demarcated.

On mining, he said, the sector had made tremendous achievements and attracted huge investments but the onus was now on the Government to ensure that full benefits were derived from the ventures.

He said it was for that reason that this Government had engaged mining companies to re-negotiate the mining development agreements, which he said, would be concluded soon.

“Fair-minded and objective people will agree that so far, our economic, political and social programmes are on the right track. This is evidenced by the positive economic developments. “At the macro-economic level, the economy has continued to perform very well,” he said.

Source: Times Of Zambia

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Good news from Nakonde

We have a success story to share with you about the Nakonde Area Development Programme (ADP).

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Construction of classrooms and provision of
school materials has improved students’
education in Nakonde.

An ADP begins with a small group of communities and grows to cover a wider geographic area. As communities begin to reach their goals and are able to fund initiatives on their own, World Vision gradually reduces its financial help by reducing the number of sponsored children in those communities.

The good news is that after many years of hard work, with your help, the Nakonde community where your sponsored child lives is increasing in capacity and will soon be able to continue its development work without World Vision’s direct assistance.

This report lists some of the changes that have happened in Nakonde over the past few years – changes that have made a huge difference to people’s lives, bringing them hope for the future.

A selection of achievements in Nakonde

Health
World Vision’s support has greatly improved the health of people in Nakonde. A clinic and a staff house have been constructed to provide local medical services. Awareness campaigns about malaria and immunisation have helped the community to understand the importance of disease prevention in order to save lives. More than 70 per cent of children are now immunised; a significant increase from a base of 24 per cent.

HIV and AIDS

Through anti-AIDS clubs, children find out
about HIV and AIDS and learn to tell
their friends, here reciting poems
they have written.

The Nakonde community is severely affected by HIV and AIDS, and World Vision has established systems to educate people about preventing the spread of HIV and to care for affected community members. Together with World Vision, they have:

  • Formed anti-AIDS clubs for children and youth
  • Provided study guides and HIV and AIDS literature
  • Trained community-based HIV and AIDS counsellors
  • Established a home-based care programme and trained more than 230 people to support chronically ill people, orphans and vulnerable children
  • Trained teachers to incorporate HIV prevention and values-based life skills into their teaching programmes
  • Assisted households caring for orphaned and vulnerable children to increase their incomes
  • Formed support groups for people living with HIV and AIDS
  • Supported local government to improve the policies of its district HIV and AIDS taskforce

Education

“When we were told World Vision was
going to support the rehabilitation work
at Kantongo Middle Basic School, we
quickly mobilised parents. When people
heard the good news, they pledged their
very best efforts to help ensure the project
succeeded,” said Mr. Mwanji Siwanzi, chair
of Kantongo parent-teacher association.“When I was in grade 7, I dreaded being
selected for grade 8 because the nearest
school that offered upper basic education
was over 7km away from Kantongo. I am
indeed very thankful to World Vision and
all the parents for their hard work in
extending the education offered at
Kantongo,” said Alinani Sichalwe, a
grade 8 pupil at Kantongo.

World Vision helped the Nakonde community to construct and renovate classrooms at Kantongo
Middle Basic School. Because of this work, the Ministry of Education has upgraded the status of the school to an Upper Basic School, allowing it to teach senior high school classes. This makes it much easier for local children to continue their education to higher levels and is really exciting for the community!Food security and conservation
World Vision has trained more than 150 farmers in modern agricultural techniques and on topics such as livestock management, crop management, conservation and agroforestry. These farmers have disseminated information to others in their communities through 21 farmers groups.

Farmers have learned to set up small fish farming operations to provide a ready source of protein and increase household incomes. Farmers have also been trained to grow vegetables and set up fruit orchards to help address malnutrition.

Reforestation of the Nakonde area has been an important activity and farmers have been taught to raise seedlings so they can continue reforesting the area.

During 1998/99 and 2001/02, excess rainfall destroyed crops. World Vision worked with the World Food Programme to distribute food to affected households. In the following years, World Vision trained the community and local government to prepare for disasters.

Leadership development
Community members have learned about leadership, project management, auditing, community mobilisation, entrepreneurship and credit management.

The Nakonde community has established a community-based organisation called Tulemane Development Trust, to continue development activities.

World Vision has trained the community in gender issues and encouraged the participation of women in development activities. This has had an influence on local government gender policy and practice.

Special thanks to World Vision of New Zealand … thanks a trillion

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr. CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

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