By Peter Sinkamba
President Edgar Lungu should seriously get worried of the country’s race to the bottom bracket of poor countries.
Zambia was elevated from low income to lower-middle income status when the country’s GDP per capita sharply rose from $377 in 2002 to $1,369 in 2008. It was further reclassified in July, 2011 when GDP per capita rose to $1,644. In 2013, Zambia’s GDP per capita peaked to all time-high $1,869.
However, from 2014, the country went into rapid free-fall mode where GDP per capital has regressed in two years by 40% from $1,869 to $1,178 as at 2016.
At this rate of decay, it is projected to hit below $1,026 by 2019 and thereby creep back into the bandwagon of low-income bracket economies. According the World Bank Atlas method of calculation, a country which has per capita Gross National Income (GNI) less than US$1,006 per year, is a low-income economy.
As the Green Party, we think that this race to the bottom should really worry the President Lungu and his Minister of Finance. The duo should really up their game and start thinking outside the box.
Even the late President Levy Mwanawasa should be turning in his grave for wasted efforts and energy. The growing per capita income by $992 from $377 in 2002 to $1,369 in 2008 in a period of six years is a global record that we all must guard jealously.
Sadly, at this rate, we are surely headed for low income economy because numbers don’t lie. We really do not deserve this as a nation in the midst of plenty.