File:Young boys in a village
What does the future hold for these Zambian boys?

WEEKLY POLICY ISSUE

Zambia has been richly blessed by God. Our land is endowed with vast natural resources and fertile soils, we have a young population with huge potential, and we are well positioned in the region to take advantage from the various opportunities to trade with our neighbours.

We have 3,400,000 acres of arable land and 40% of water in Southern Africa. Our climate is very good and we are the most friendly and hospitable people in Southern Africa, if not the whole world. The Lake Tanganyika in Northern Province is not only the seconded deepest, but it also has the most diverse marine life of the fresh water lakes in the world. Meanwhile, the Liuwa Plains in the Western Province hosts the second largest wildebeest migration in the world, and is home to 330 bird species. If only we had a leadership with a vision, the potential this country has would be exploited for the benefit of all our people. Without a leadership that can harness these into economic activities that create jobs and opportunities for Zambia citizens, we shall but be talking about potential until the end of time.

In November and December of each year, a staggering 10 million straw-coloured fruit bats congregate in Kasanka National Park located at the western edge of Lake Bangweulu in Serenje, Central Province. This is largest mammal migration on earth. The largest concentration of hippos in the world can be found in the Luangwa Valley of the Eastern Province. The Kafue National Park is the second largest national park in Africa. The largest man-made water body in the world is Lake Kariba. The Victoria Falls is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. And this is not all, Zambia is said to be host to over 150 waterfalls dotted across the country. We never get to hear about Lumangwe, Kundabwika falls in Kawambwa, Nkundabwika in Serenje and many other beautiful falls, so what do we market to our potential tourists?

The North Western and Copperbelt Provinces have some of the largest deposits of copper in the world. Zambia is the world’s second biggest producer of Emeralds, with its Kafubu River area deposits at Kagem Mines about 45 km southwest of Kitwe responsible for 20% of the world’s production of gem quality stones. Amethysts mined from Mapatizya in Southern Province are among the finest in the world. But what we lack in all this is the secondary industry mainly for value addition. Zambia imports almost all the electronics it uses, what would happen if we offered to make circuit boards? Wouldn’t this take advantage of the copper we are exporting in its raw form?

why with so much natural resource wealth at our disposal there is so much poverty in Zambia?


Our forests are among the few that have the indigenous Mukwa and Mukula trees growing in them. These trees produce the best timber and they also have medicinal properties. Unfortunately, we have in the recent past witnessed the indiscriminate cutting down and illegal export of these trees depriving the economy with the foreign currency it so desperately needs. Timber from both these species of trees is very expensive and rare. Yet we import furniture from South Africa. We import wooden products from other countries after exporting raw timber.

The questions that begs the answer is, why with so much natural resource wealth at our disposal there is so much poverty in Zambia? We are at the bottom of all human development indicators, which are life expectancy, education and income per capita. Under five mortality is at 75 per 1,000 live births ( it is 3/1000 in Norway and 4/1000 in Australia) and a maternal mortality of 338 per 100,000 in Zambia is among the highest in the world. Under-five mortality levels are influenced by poverty, education, particularly of mothers; by the availability, accessibility and quality of health services; by environmental risks, including access to safe water and sanitation; and by nutrition. Unfortunately all these are prevalent in Zambia.

Unemployment is off the roof. The country is failing to absorb the few graduates our colleges and universities are offloading on the market each year. Our farmers are not producing enough food. The agriculture sector is grossly mismanaged. The manufacturing industry is dead. Interest rates are too high. The Kwacha has been among the worst performing currencies in the world. Just about every sector you can think about is dysfunctional. As sad as this may sound, it does not surprise us. In 2011 the PF deceived the masses with their “90 days” promises. In 2015 we have a president who is on record of having said he had no vision. No vision means no plan. This largely explains why the PF and President Lungu have taken an easy route of borrowing to try and fix an ailing economy. There are no easy and fast fixes. You need a vision, skills and a plan. This is what UPND brings to the table. Here are some of the things UPND will do when the Zambian people give us an opportunity to form government in 2016.

There is no way Zambia can be importing cornflakes yet year in-year out

  1. The UPND will enforce available legislation to protect our natural resources and where that is inadequate, in conformity with international norms pass new bills. It is pointless to sign on international conventions that you do not domesticate By translating them into law.
  2. The UPND will build capacity and demand accountability from government agencies such as ZAWA, Dept of Forestry, Dept of Fisheries and others.
  3. The UPND will galvanize available human resource to constructively engage in the economy by making financing available to prospective entrepreneurs, current interest are prohibitive and eliminates majority of our people from meaningfully participating in the economy.
  4. The UPND will as much as possible encourages citizens’ participation in home grown solutions to prevailing challenges. There is no way Zambia can be importing cornflakes yet year in-year out we are boasting of bumper harvests. Zambia imports milk, cheese and other milk products, yet the country has potential to be self-sufficient in many areas.
  5. The UPND will not borrow from the international markets recklessly, as all expenditure will be carefully planned with appropriate oversight

The many challenges we face as a country are not insurmountable. The crisis however, is in leadership and a lack of political will. We cannot allow the systematic assault and destruction of our beloved country, as is the case under the PF government right now. It is our collective responsibility to make Zambia a better place where all our people will have access to basic social services regardless of political affiliation and connections. We will in future articles tackle our specific interventions in each of these areas of potential.

Hakainde Hichilema

UPND President

Together, we can

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22 COMMENTS

  1. The day i left to become an American, is the day i stopped being a poor Zambian.

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    • Guys, why should we always be singing of potential? when are we going to realize our potential? These places HH is talking about , I never even knew we had such. What is the Zambian Tourist Board doing? Enough talk, time for action is now..start by licking PF (power failures) come 2016

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    • TRIBALISM IS WHAT HAS STRANGLED ZAMBIA OVER THE YEARS! ZAMBIA HAS GIVEN ZAMBIANS A YOUNG, WELL EDUCATED, ENERGETIC, SELFLESS LEADER IN THE NAME OF HAKAINDE HICHILEMA. STOP THE TRIBALISM AND LET US ALL JOIN HANDS TO SUPPORT REAL POLITICAL CHANGE WHICH CAN GALVANIZE THE ECONOMY OF OUR COUNTRY. UPND AND HH IS THE BEST WAY OUT FOR ZAMBIA’S ECONOMY TO BE EFFECTIVELY REPAIRED. VIVA UPND! VIVA HH!

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  2. Every chap before you that has entered plot one has said the exact same things you are saying. We know zed has potential, and is truly blessed with natural resources.

    The problem is all you politicians are the same. You lie to get what you want, just like a man does trying to get his leg over.

    Just look at “the humble man” Lungu. Is he humble anymore???

    We truly need a new generation of politicians, not the same recycled useless scare crows.

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    • @IndigoTyrol…

      when do you need them and how can you identify them?

      Could you kindly point atleast one error with Hakainde apart from your insinuations of tribalism?

      You choose people whose backgrounds show that they have done nothing visible, and leave out someone whom you can trace their history of achievements both in economic and social spheres.

      Do you really think that generation of politicians will one day fall down from heaven like rain?

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  3. Most of teachers went to Botswana to improve themselves or because they were not properly paid.

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  4. Mr. HH
    You do not wait until you are president to offer solutions to our country`s problem. Please offer your suggestion and people will one day realise you are the best person to lead Zambia. Joseph in the bible interpreted the dream to Pharaoh and offered the solution. Pharaoh had no choice but to appoint Joseph to lead.You have failed to manage your party outside Southern province as educated as you claim yet the least educated man late Sata have the following from all the provinces.You will not lead Zambia alone with your fellow friends from Southern Province therefore open up and interact easily with all tribes. The educated Zambians do not care which tribe you come from but if you marginalise even the few guys from other tribes, then your leadership vision will remain a dream.

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    • Do you honestly want the country to be led by the opposition? Then what is the meaning of being in leadership? If one has no clue whatsoever, let the Zambian people choose (no rigging) someone who can lead the country to prosperity. Some of you have been begging HH to lead the country to economical development from the opposition and at the same time you are insulting him day in day out. How can he work (give you ideas) with you like that.

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  5. We need leaders who are bold, courageous and are able to take risks by recognising that NO is an answer when pressured by some international demands that have made every President fail to uphold Zambia’s interests at the “expense” of our international reputation.

    We see cowardice in the handling of our mineral resources… we see it every day.

    We collect very little taxes and royalties, but borrow astronomically.

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  6. Oooh! I never knew Zambia was so blessed naturally. A country of so many firsts. Corruption and political rivalry are the major drawbacks as most of those with big positions are self centred and lack of good will for the govt/ opposition to coperate. How I wish we are good at doing as we are at analysing. Unless we first change our minds, it will remain just as such, potential.

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  7. ALUNGU is a ‘stop gap’ for ZAMBIA. Thereis no way such a rich and proud country can settle for less. It’s not going to happen, not now not any other time. ZAMBIANS have a good soul and wrong things they sense and discard. ALUNGU lost an opportunity to ‘shine’ what a chance was on the platter. All he needed to do was maintain the status quo. The stage was set for him and he just needed to turn up. Now he has decided TGE REJECTED RB AND DORA WERE HIS mentors and confidants big mistake. He’s out for being dumb and st.upidy.

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  8. HH at it again. About Circuit breakers, this was discussed with Chinese investors when ECL was in China recently. This is not from you U5. About Zambia statistical economic data for wooewing investors, that was first presented by late Paul Tembo and Ronald Penza all politicians who have come along has talked or referred to it, Mr HH. This is not new U5 HH. The problem with HH is you say things which only academicians not investors use to develop a country. When you see the difference then you will see why PF is on course. Investors come where infrastructure is good while academicians keep on pounding on economic theories. PF is not theoretical but creating facts on ground which all are seeing. That is what will bring investors to sort out those problems that elude you.U5

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    • The govt this year, “officially” granted around 20,000 work permits to peoples of asian decent using simple maths a charge of USD$5,000.00 per permits translates to USD$100,000,000.00 hence the endless condemnation of Zambian workers by politicians and the explosion in the number of immigrants from asia, lebanon, eastern europe, somlia and other troubled zones. Corrupt Ethiopians incahoots with corrupt govt officials are the master minds of the illegal and nonsensical proliferation of foreigners in Zambia! These foreigners arent law abiding Germans or Japanese peoples; they are quite the opposite to say the least!

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  9. The problem Zambia faces isn’t lack of know how on how to do the right thing but the vested interest in doing the wrong thing! The same good song HH is singing in this article was sang by FTJ, opposition leader and President Michael Sata, current President Edgar Lungu, aspiring presidential candidate Prof. Clive Chirwa and many others. The question for those aspiring for the presidency and promising to do good is; are you willing to forsake illicit, corrupt, financial gains for the sake of your country men and women? Like the waterfalls dotted around the country; the opportunity to make corrupt, dirty money is tremendous and unlike the water falls the money levels aren’t seasonal and grow exponentially! For example the govt officially granted around 15,000 work permits to (cont below)

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    • Agreed fully. Leadership Corruption is the biggest problem we have in Zambia. The greed that is practised from Central gov’t is one of the wrongs.

      The idea that foreign help should be at the centre of our gov’t is a problem.

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  10. “The UPND will not borrow from the international markets recklessly, as all expenditure will be carefully planned with appropriate oversight”

    Not borrow Recklessly! However we clearly gather you WILL borrow…..er Responsibly!

    With all your promises, you will however keep Chikwandanomics? Well….

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  11. Some types of behaviours can easily be mistaken, one for another. For instance, are we hospitable or just timid. We need to take a closer look at our society, if we are to remedy its ills.

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  12. The poverty of Zambians include deprivation of the right brain to make good judgements. HH may be the best person to redeem our nation. Arguably he is the best person to be head of state right now but do we have the right brain and eyes to see that….NO hence all the suffering we re going through and more to come.Chikwanda is busy accruing debts yet we are still stuck on him. We are f000ls beyond measure and will remain so until we wake up

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  13. For once Zambians I am begging you all, dont look at the tribal of a person in 2016 but look at the best candidate to revive Zambia’s prospects. Please vote wisely in 2016. Twapenga pafula mwebo. Zambia has been given to foreignors economically. The spirit of nationalism went with UNIP. Too bad.

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