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Zambia braces for tougher austerity [Business Africa]

Business Africa

Adverse weather conditions have affected crop production and stifled power generation in Zambia. Thus, President Edgar Lungu has cut the country’s 2019 economic growth forecast.

The Southern African nation is also struggling with high debt levels. Foreign currency reserves are down and the International Monetary Fund says growth is likely to remain subdued over the medium term. The Breton Wood institution sees a 2 percent growth this year, from an initial projection of 4 percent.

In an address to parliament, President Lungu said Zambia would endeavor to tackle domestic arrears and maintain debt within sustainable levels. The Southern African nation’s debt rose to $10.5 billion at the end of last year, compared with $8.74 billion a year earlier. This raises fears that Africa’s second-largest copper producer is headed for a debt crisis.

The mindset of all citizens should be adequately prepared for the hard times to come.

But with other sources of electricity production could this have been prevented? And how hard will this bite Zambians? We speak to Lusaka-based economist, Chibamba Kanyama for some perspectives.

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