Alexander Chiteme, the Minister of National Planning
Alexander Chiteme, the Minister of National Planning

Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) drop to 2% has been spurred by various economic and climatic factors but the shrinking growth is recoverable in the short and medium term, Alexander Chiteme, the Minister of National Planning has said.

Zambia is one of the countries that have relied on commodities, copper exports included in economic growth programmes since independence and has not championed industrialization and diversification.

Faced with the various factors at play, debt accumulation, climate change included, the Government looks ahead and wants to promote exponential growth in various sectors to meet the demands of its 17 million populace.

“The economic meltdown cannot entirely be blamed on President Lungu and the ruling PF alone.” he said. “Nature has a hand in the erring economy and there is little or nothing President Lungu can do to fight it.”

The Minister admitted that Zambia has experienced a slump in economic growth recorded over eight years ago to a paltry 2.5% a record, common in almost all the Sub Saharan states-battling to overcome climatic change effects.

Against the effects of the unforeseen developments, which have affected agriculture, energy, tourism, among other sectors, Zambia realized the need to realign its growth programmes hence, mooting the recovery programme under the 2017-2021 much touted 7th National Development Programme, aiming to regain high GDP.

Climate change has over the time swept growth in energy, industry, agriculture, forcing the Government to secure financial assistance from cooperating partners to undertake facelift in affected sectors and this has resulted in the reinvigoration of the economy although poverty levels remain high in many households.

Allaying fears from economic commentators that President Edgar Lungu’s administration has faced to provide impetus to economic growth-what with high debt levels and declining agriculture and energy performance, Chiteme defended the administration arguing all the factors were not human induced but nature.

“The economic meltdown cannot entirely be blamed on President Lungu and the ruling PF alone.” he said. “Nature has a hand in the erring economy and there is little or nothing President Lungu can do to fight it.”

The unprecedented and severe climate change seen in several parts of the country, chiefly Southern Zambia, the hub of power generation, has slowed down growth of power output, which has in turn affected production in industry-key economic driver.

“We just have to develop the economy even if it means borrowing, if we were borrowing for consumption; I would have been the first to resign,”

He said it is unfair to compare the economic 7% GDP growth in 2011 to what is prevailing today without taking into consideration other overriding factors, flood, caused by climate change which has affected power output, leading to the decline in the economic growth today.

Comparatively, the 7% growth in 2011 is not matched to 2019 because of various factors that have arisen and what transpired then cannot be compared to present day.

Despite these challenges Government has embarked on an ambitious programme to redress the ills, citing the construction of over 200 secondary schools, roads and other infrastructure, alien to the time under review-an indicator of rising GDP, though might not be appreciate now.

On cries of high indebtedness, averaging US$10 billion, Minister Chiteme, justified Government’s propensity to contract loans.

He contended many critics who have narrowed their thoughts on the sinking fund as a basis that we might fail to honour debt obligations arguing various plans including euro bond refinancing are on cards.

“We just have to develop the economy even if it means borrowing, if we were borrowing for consumption; I would have been the first to resign,”

These have given rise to massive market linkages-necessitating farmers across the country to access markets for their produce, a shift from 2011 when the economy doubled.

Zambia remains determined to attain growth under the vision 2030 ambitious, although it is lacking adequate financing but that with determination, the economy was facing a brighter horizon, despite some critics remaining critical despite all the good deeds.

Government will not relent on its ambitious growth programme as espoused under the 7th NDP-which embraces all the 17 sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in various sectors.

[Read 1,619 times, 1 reads today]
Loading...

25 COMMENTS

  1. I guess it is plausible. More likely our leadership’s corrupt ways and our lack of a constitution that holds them accountable accounts for this in a much more significant manner. But good try.

    11

    0
    • We had load shedding under MMD and we still had an annual average economic growth rate of 7 percent.In 2013,Yaluma together with then ZESCO MD Chitundu,while touring a consruction of Phase one of 300 mega watts of thermal power plant at Maamba Collieries Limited,promised to end load shedding by December 2014 citing mitigating plans bei ng implemented by his govt.What happened because its now five years past December 2014 and still have load shedding?

      8

      0
    • Every country on Earth faces some natural adverse conditions. But what makes the difference is where the foundation of that country is anchored. The Bible says a wise man built his house on stone and a foolish man on sand. When the storm came the foolish man’s house was whole rubble while the wise man’s house was still standing. This is the case of Zambia. There shall be no time in the human history when such adverse conditions will never come. Therefore our leaders should always have this in mind whenever they are planning.

      1

      0
    • Yes Mr Chiteme its because of climate change that we have no roads. When we try to construct a road or to repair township roads it rains so we can’t repair them.
      We can’t take medicines to hospitals because they melt because of climate change.
      When our ACC is investigating who owns 48 houses climate change makes it rain so hard all the evidence is washed away.
      When we try to arrest the fall of the Kwacha climate change interferes.

      4

      0
    • How come south-africa which consumes more energy has dealt with loadshedding while Zambia is still light years away from a solution?

      2

      0
  2. DON’T JUSTIFY IT BECAUSE YOU WON’T CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH. ACCEPT THAT WE ARE IN DEBT AND THE ECONOMY IS BAD,YES CLIMATE CHANGE IS FACTOR BUT NOT THE ONLY FACTOR SO GROUND THE PRESIDENTS PLANE AND FREE UP TIME FOR HIM SO THAT ALL OF YOU CAN START FIGURING OUT SOLUTIONS TO OUR PRESSING MATTERS NOT HAVING THE NDF SITTINGS THAT’S POLITICS BUT YOU HAVE MEETINGS TO SOLVE WHAT WE CAN CONTROL… SAYING WE ARE DEPENDANT ON COPPER HAS BEEN WORDS THAT HAVE BEEN USED IN EVERY SPEECH BY ALL THE PAST PRESIDENTS TAKE ACTIONS NOW SO THAT WE SUSTAIN OURSELVES AS A COUNTRY… HELP THE COMMON FOLK

    14

    0
  3. The weather has been changing long before someone coined the so-called climate change. We now have politicians who use google to plagiarise their reporting due to lack of credible opposition. Why are the opposition parties not scrutinising or challenging the government on these issues? These are real issues which you should provide checks and balances, not constantly bickering of wanting to be in government before you can offer solutions or oppose anything. The level of incompetence with our politicians is not shocking anymore, it’s scary because they are perfecting the art of stealing and normalising it.

    4

    1
  4. That is total failure for me.
    1.8 % GDP growth from 8%.
    The button was passed on to M C Sata who was ailing unfortunately he collapsed and died on the track with the button being handed over to ECL instead of heading towards the finish line ba ECL took the opposite direction on the race track and he is now refusing to hand over the button the cheers by the Zambian masses have turned into boos.

    9

    0
    • Sitting Bull
      The destruction of our economy and ascendancy to power of a person proudly calling himself Chagwa(It has fallen/failed) is Sata’s legacy and deservedly so

      6

      1
  5. The economic meltdown cannot entirely be blamed on President Lungu and the ruling PF alone.” so he agrees that they have a part to play in our current predicament. “Nature has a hand in the erring economy and there is little or nothing President Lungu can do to fight it.” lol there is plenty he can do about it , it’s not like we have just found out about climate change today. ur policies are just too myopic, but the populace dnt seem to mind and the ones that do are oppsition.

    7

    0
  6. Most Zambian are lazy and thieves such that they will use any excuse under the sun to justify their failure. That is why I fell in love with my Swiss white woman. She is honest hard-working caring and above all ambitious. She doesn’t think I owe her the world just because she cooks nshima for me like Zambian woman think

    3

    1
  7. We warned lungu that his reckless spending on roads and other buildings with no immediate economic returns is putting Zambia at risk….any wobble in the world economy or weather and we are in trouble we said.

    Most of that $17 billion should have been spent on manufacturing to boost jobs and agricultural dams and cannels to mitigate climate change……

    Ahhhhh , we told you so,

    5

    0
    • Now they sit in cabinet meetings trying to figure out what excuse to use next…why dont they go to IMF and say give is money as our slow growth is down to climate change…really laughable…its like a lazy farmer who cried to you about hunger when a large river passes by his backyard.

      5

      0
  8. Climate change as a factor has contributed 5% to the country’s regression. Corruption 65% ,incompetence 20%.
    The question is why are the guys in PF always pointing at lesser factors and denying corruption exists?

    11

    0
  9. These *****s have now turned to nature for their incompetence? What happened to the mass prayers? It is all common knowledge your qiestionable overspending and indeed your lack of control over financing is coming to haunt you, mind you, 2022 we have more questions to answer when the IMF come for their progress report on the loans you chewed, I hope you can also include HIV/AIDS among the reasons of the decline in GDP which will continue for a long time and until PF is kicked out. Bane, I hope you have plan be cause remember these ***** even have homes in Swaziland to run to when things get worse.

    4

    0
  10. All political power is illegitimate unless it serves the self interest of the masses. Why waste our time with your incompetence? What is incompetent PF doing ruling us? We the people build the country not you illegitimate clueless suckers. I like HH though, he can form government coz he is a successful role model for society. We will give him legitimacy. #wish i had more middle fingers#

    3

    0
  11. What do you expect when the only industry outside Zambian towns in charcoal burning. The rate at which we are dropping down the trees will be a desert very soon.

    No plan no vision…. it makes sad reading

    4

    0
  12. Why is climate changes only affecting Zambia’s GDP?
    MALAWI’s GDP growth is 3.7%
    NAMIBIA – 4.6%
    BOTSWANA – 4.2%
    TANZANIA-6.7%
    MOZAMBIQUE-5.9%
    ZIMBABWE-3.5%
    After insulting our intelligence with the 48 ghost houses ,now you want to cheat us on the economy.
    We are not Kids.

    9

    0
  13. This is lies + nonsense by GRZ officials .Look at Rwanda’s growth at 7% , Ethiopia at 8% and Kenya at 6.2% even with rough nature and reliance on commodities.

    3

    0
  14. This Chiteme is very dull! When he is quiet, you would think he is intelligent. And these are the chaps who are giving their president all the crap of advice. Shame on you Dullards!

    2

    0

Comments are closed.