Zambia needs consistency in policies – BoZ

Ambassador Schultz hosted his third Economic Policy Panel Discussion today on the topic of Zambia’s finance sector. He was joined on the panel by Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor Dr. Bwalya Ngandu, former Vice President Guy Scott, Kukula Capital Managing Director Tue Nyboe Anderson, and Stanbic Bank Managing Director Charles Mudiwa. Topics of discussion ranged from Zambia’s interest rates and exchange rate to economic diversification and capital markets.

BANK of Zambia deputy governor Bwalya Ngandu says the country needs to employ strategies and consistent policies that will help diversify its economy.
Dr Ng’andu said policies should be predictable and consistent to enable the business community make decisions based on informed assumptions.
He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday during a forum for the Women’s Entrepreneurial Centres of Resources, Education, Access and Training for Economic Empowerment in Zambia.
Dr Ng’andu said there is need to formulate plans that will work for the Zambian economy.
He noted that the country has high interest rates and that the banking sector should try to increase resource mobilisation to raise deposits, which will help reduce the rates.
Dr Ng’andu said there are many fundamentals at play such as lack of saving culture among Zambians, but that they can be addressed through strategies such as financial literacy programmes.
American Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz said fundamental reforms could be difficult in an election year, but that plans that can be undertaken after the polls can be formulated.
“Our hope is that these panel discussions, which we intend to continue, can lay the groundwork and build consensus for needed reforms. In the end Zambia will have to reduce government spending and to spend more efficiently,” Mr Schultz said.
He said the United States government has worked hard to encourage investor interest in Zambia and that these programmes cannot flourish without a credible environment to foster growth.
Stanbic Bank managing director Charles Mudiwa said Zambia is a key market economy and that it has been rated seventh in Africa amongst best performing economies.
Mr Mudiwa said his bank is looking at long-term investment in the country and that there is potential to increase the country’s outlook in terms of investment.

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