By Choolwe Chibomba – Spokesperson, Zambia Is Back
In 2022, the New Dawn government set out to release supply bottlenecks, remove
unnecessary red tape and create an economic environment that nurtures investment
and businesses. Following the 2023 budget, it is clear that the upcoming year is
going to be monumental for Zambia’s economic recovery, with the rate of GDP
growth forecast to increase by nearly 4% and a debt restructuring agreement firmly
on the horizon. It has never been a better time to invest in Zambia.
As we look to 2023 one thing is for sure, Zambia’s economy will continue to thrive;
blossoming into a new investment hub for Africa. Following years of economic
instability and financial hardship, key economic indicators are now painting a positive
picture. According to Bloomberg, in December, inflation fell to below 10% for the first
time in almost three years and that rate is expected to average out at 8.5% in 2023.
This fall in inflation shows that Zambia is not just welcoming investors but has an
economy that can support them. Stable and low inflation reduces uncertainty and
price distortions creating an environment to nurture investments, ensuring ample
returns to businesses. This was highlighted in February last year when S&P Global
Ratings improved the country’s credit rating. As a result, the Zambian economy
continues to be one of the most economically stable investment environments in
southern Africa, instilling confidence in investors around the world.
Outside of these top-level indicators, 2022 was an immensely successful year for
foreign investments in key sectors of Zambia’s economy, such as agriculture, mining
and tourism. In December, for example, the Radisson Blu hotel group opened a new
resort on the banks of the Zambezi – the group’s first ever safari resort in Africa. The
new resort will boast luxury rooms which include panoramic views across the
Elsewhere, PHYLA Earth, who use genetically modified seeds to improve crop yield,
announced that they will be developing a remarkable orchard in Chingola to combat
soil erosion. The programme will see 4,000 Pongamia seedlings be planted near the
Konkola Copper Mine. These are expected, once they have grown, flowered and
produced seeds, to improve soil fertility in the area. This in turn will support local
farming and increase ecological resilience, something that in the face of a climate
crisis is of more importance than ever.
Moreover, Zambian Breweries, owned by the multinational giant AB InBev,
announced they would be investing $80 million in capital investments to expand their
Lusaka factory and create 5,000 jobs. The investment will also target more
sustainable means of production, with 90% of the funds dedicated to innovating high-
tech equipment to make operations more environmentally friendly. This includes the
enlargement of the company’s agriculture out-grower schemes to offer more
procurement opportunities to local suppliers.
Perhaps the pinnacle for investments in 2022 was achieved during the US-Africa
Leaders’ Summit, when KoBold Metals announced their $150 million pledge to
develop the Mingomba copper-cobalt mine. The new project uses cutting-edge AI
technology to find new metal deposits; edging Zambia even closer to its copper
production target of 3 million tonnes by 2032.
President and Founder of KoBold, Josh Goldman, said that he chose to invest in
Zambia due to its economic stability and pro-business policies. He said that Zambia
is a “safe and peaceful place where we can hire exceptional people, where the laws
support investing for the long term, where we can operate in ways that protect the
environment and support local communities and where government supports our
investment with actions that are fair, transparent and fast.”
The investment hopes to break into the estimated 247 million tonnes of ore with
some of the highest grade of copper found throughout the world. The quality of
copper will be vital in providing batteries which can be used in renewable energy and
electric vehicles. It is estimated that the global copper industry will need $100 billion
worth of investment to meet its current demand by 2030. This presents a key
opportunity for Zambia to enable mining profits as well as power inclusive growth.
These investments as a whole will have a multitude of positive multiplier effects on
almost all aspects of Zambia economy, leading to more benefits to Zambians.
Through the New Dawn government’s reformed tax system, the more companies
that invest into Zambia the more revenue that can be collected. As this increases
more government spending can be allocated towards infrastructure such as roads,
healthcare and schools.
Outside of increased government revenue, high levels of international and domestic
investment will see business capacity increase, resulting in higher employment
opportunities, arming Zambians throughout the country with high-quality working
The US-Africa Leaders’ Summit also represented a pivotal moment for African
leaders to meet and discuss global issues. Speaking about the KoBold investment,
President Hakainde Hichilema made it clear that international cooperation is key as
the world faces a myriad of uncertainties. “This investment today is not [just] about
Kobold and ZCCM, it’s not about Zambia,” he said. “It’s about all these and the rest
of the world as we grapple with climate change issues, as we grapple with replacing
climate damaging fuels with green fuels, and therefore electric vehicles, very, very
important to us.”
Looking ahead to 2023,the World Economic Forum meets in Davos this week,
presenting Zambia with another opportunity to market itself on the world stage. The
event will host over 2,700 leaders from government, business and civil society,
meeting to discuss topics, ranging from agriculture to the conflict in Ukraine, to digital
Zambia will be represented by Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane, who will
be looking to advance relationships with international partners, as well as
representatives from the private sector to further boost sustainable investment into
Zambia and advance our country’s reputation as a premier location to do business
on the African continent. Last week, the World Economic Forum published an article
outlining that even in the face of global economic uncertainty more businesses than
ever are looking to emerging economies, such as Zambia, to meet their ambitious
business plans. This is exactly why Zambia should be putting itself in front and
centre to welcome more foreign investments, leading to tangible benefits for
Zambians throughout the country.
Promoting investment is key to the work we do at Zambia Is Back. We work
alongside the New Dawn government and the Zambia Development Agency to
connect Zambian businesses with investors from around the world to make it easier
than ever to do business in Zambia.
Now is the time to invest in our nation and we are excited to meet with more
businesses to unlock Zambia’s potential. This year marks a new chapter in Zambia’s
history and we are looking forward to seeing what is in store for businesses over the
next few months and helping to coordinate investments that promote all aspects of
our economy and its communities.
If you are interested in investing or want to find out more, head to our website,