Business

Investor buoyancy triggers financial market surge but…

FELIX NKINKE , Lusaka

JUST a fortnight ago, the wheels of power turned, and a new government was elected into office to rule Zambia for the next five years. United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichelema, an accomplished businessman, was ushered into office beating incumbent President Edgar Lungu by nearly 60 percent support, the biggest margin of victory in 30 years. Mr Hichilema is seen as a more market-friendly figure than Mr Lungu after showing a desire to put Zambia on a more sustainable fiscal footing and engagement with investors. According to some business and economic analysts, Mr Hichilama’s landslide victory provides him with a strong mandate to redraw the country’s reforms path in a bid to salvage the sinking economy. Over the last few years, the country has been pigeon-holed with various challenges that had cast a dark shadow over Zambia’s future economic development. The country’s annual inflation is currently at the highest in over two decades at nearly 25 percent, and the economy is forecast to only narrowly avoid a second consecutive contraction this year. Before the polls, the local currency was among the worst-performing currencies in the world as it traded poorly among other convertible currencies like the US dollar trading at K22 to a dollar. Following the government’s overspending seen recently, coupled with a huge external debt burden, Zambia was made to become Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign defaulter in November last year, reducing the country’s debt sovereignty. The new government CLICK TO READ MORE




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