Copperbelt based economist Manase Siwila believes declining production in the mining sector is contributing to the weakening of the local currency Kwacha.
The Kwacha on Thursday morning breached the K23 barrier when trading between K23.00 and K22.57 against one dollar.
Major mining firms Konkola Copper Mines, Mopani Copper Mines and Chambishi Metals have not operated at full capacity for over three years.
Mr. Siwila has bemoaned the weakening of the Kwacha against major currencies such as the US Dollar.
Siwila notes that the weak Kwacha shows that the local economy was struggling.
He proposed that increasing exports and reducing externalization of funds by foreign investors can help to stabilise the Kwacha.
“Check the productivity levels, they are so low. The production in the mining sector that we all know helps have foreign exchange into our country seems not to be on the right track in terms of production,” Mr. Siwila noted.
He continued:”Remember we are an importing country, for that matter we seem to have too many imports as compared to exports this in itself has weakened the Kwacha. The weakening of the Kwacha is not good for the economy. This is why the cost of living is on the higher side because we have a lot of money that is being externalized.
Mr. Siwila concluded:”We need to increase production in order to arrest the weakening of the Kwacha. We need to attract more foreign currencies.”