PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has appointed and sworn in a new Minister of Finance Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, making this his first cabinet appointment since assuming power. Earlier the president tweeted that he was going to roll out his cabinet in a phased-out approach stating with the position of the Finance Minister today.
The new Finance Minister is not new to the Government or the Ministry of Finance having served in both the late President Levy Mwanawasa,s MMD Government and the fourth President Rupiah Banda.
Dr. Musokotwane is a leading regional Monetary Economist with several decades of experience in developing markets having served as Finance Minister, Secretary to the Treasury, Deputy Governor of the Zambian Central Bank, IMF Advisor and Founding Head of the Financial Markets Department at the Zambian Central Bank.
Dr Musokotwane has also acted as an alternate Governor at the IMF, African Development Bank, and World Bank. At the Bank of Zambia (Zambia’s Central Bank) he was responsible for the re-introduction of Treasury Bills and Government securities auctions in Zambia, as well as the introduction of Central bank Open Market Operations. He led the development of Zambia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper which among others led to the re-introduction of National Planning in Zambia.
During his time in public service he was part of the country’s economic management team whose efforts led to the reduction of inflation from rates of over 100% to 8%, and interest rates in excess of 45% to 18%. Under his leadership as the Minister of Finance, Zambia experienced economic growth in excess of 7.6%. As Minister of Finance and prior to that Secretary to the Treasury he was responsible for Zambia’s national budget, managing in excess of US$3 billion when he left the Ministry of Finance.
As Finance Minister he was also active in the promotion of the Republic of Zambia as an investment destination, helping to contribute in the generation of investment commitments in excess of US$6 billion over a 3 year term. As an entrepreneur, Dr Musokotwane founded an agri-business in 1988, which included a cattle ranch and dairy operation that is today among the larger dairy farming operations in Zambia. The land on which the beef ranching operation was based is now being re-developed as the Nkwashi Estate.
He has a PhD in Monetary Economics from Konstanz University in Germany and also spent many years as an academic at the University of Zambia.