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Economics and Business in Zambia

Business and Economy of Economics and Business in ZambiaAccording to countryaah, Zambia has significant natural conditions for economic development, both in agriculture and mining, including relatively good access to water - for both irrigation and power generation. Zambia is essentially an agricultural community, but a strong mining sector has contributed to a relatively high degree of industrialization.. The mining operation is based mainly on the country's large copper reserves, and the mining in the Copper Belt has for decades been an important employer and contributor to the national economy. At the same time, the widespread dependence on copper as the one, dominant export item, made the Zambian economy subject to price fluctuations in the international markets. The price decline of copper from the mid-1970s caused considerable economic problems that spread to the whole of Zambian society. The belief in mining as a driving force for industrialization, especially in the 1960s and 1970s meant that the development of agriculture, which employs the majority of the population, was partly neglected. This in turn has contributed to poor social and economic development in the countryside, and to widespread poverty, although Zambia is normally able to produce its own food consumption. Declining revenues from the mining sector from the late 1970s also contributed to the decline of this sector as a result of declining reinvestments. Zambia went into a deep economic crisis, which was solved, among other things, through economic restructuring, under pressure from The World Bank and the IMF, from the 1980s, and with further liberalization - including privatization of state-owned enterprises - in the 1990s.

Business and Economy of Zambia

The economy is further weakened as a result of HIV/ AIDS. Zambia is one of the countries most severely affected by the epidemic, which among other things has led to a weakening of the workforce both in the modern sector and in agriculture, and which has contributed to further pressure on the health system as well as on families and communities.

The economic development since independence has been significantly influenced by regional political conditions, with wars in neighboring Angola, DR Congo (Zaire), Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, as well as the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Zambia joined the international boycott of the illegal regime in Rhodesia, 1965, and failed (until 1978) to export its goods through the country to shipping ports in South Africa. In the second half of the 1970s, the war in Angola caused the rail link to Lobito, and the port there, to be broken - and Zambia became dependent on connections eastward, through Tanzania. Zambia also welcomed a large number of refugees from neighboring countries.

Zambia is one of the countries Norway has had the longest, continuous development cooperation with at bilateral, state level - with status as a priority partner country from 1967. Zambia has for many years been the largest single recipients of Norwegian aid, through both direct cooperation and through multinational organizations.. Support for road development, water supply and agricultural development were early key sectors of cooperation; from the late 1990s, institutional development became dominant, with particular support for the development of governance and education, as well as natural resource and wildlife management. A number of Norwegian NGOs are involved in aid work in Zambia.

Tourism is a growing industry, and Zambia, together with Zimbabwe, including the Victoria Falls, manages as its main attraction.

Mining, energy

Zambia is rich in metals and minerals, and copper, cobalt, coal, lead, zinc, manganese, silver, iron, limestone and gemstones are extracted. The economic importance of the sector has dropped to a peak in the early 1970s, and accounted for less than 10% of GDP in the early 2000s., and employed approx. 10% of the working population. Industrial mining is run from the early 1900s, with lead, zinc and copper as the first products. The mines were nationalized (51%) in 1971, and in 1973 the government took full control of the two largest mining companies. These were merged in 1982 into Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines; the world's second largest copper company - which was privatized in the second half of the 1990s: the company was split up and sold; the process was completed in 2000.

Zambia's most important single metal is copper; Much of the country's development has been linked to copper exports, which have accounted for over 90% of the country's export revenues for a long period of time, before declining in the 1990s. The deposits have thinned out and production has decreased, partly due to lack of investment and maintenance. Earnings and profitability have decreased as a result of lower prices and lower productivity, as well as more expensive production. The largest mines are located in a 100 km long zone along the border of the Shaba region of DR Congo, known as the Copperbelt. The second most important metal is cobalt, but its products also vary with the fluctuations in international market prices. The extraction of jewelery stones increased in the 1990s, but a significant proportion of the production is carried out illegally. At Kabwe (Broken Hill), some lead and zinc are still being extracted, and in the eastern part of the country there are large reserves of phosphate. Zambia also has viable deposits of marble, partly of high quality. There are also smaller deposits of gold and silver.

Zambia has good conditions for the production of hydroelectric power. The country is self-sufficient and exports surpluses to Zimbabwe, Angola and DR Congo, as well as from 1998 to South Africa and Tanzania. Main power stations are located at Kafue Gorge, Lake Caribbean and Victoria Falls. Norway has assisted in the development of the country's power sector. For large parts of the population, charcoal and firewood are still the most important energy sources.

Agriculture and fishing

Zambia has good topographic and climatic conditions for agriculture, with the possibility of producing a variety of goods. Agriculture employs about 2/3 of the working population, but this occasion. the large mining sector does not contribute to agriculture with more than 10-15% of GNI. About. 7% of the land area is cultivated, approx. 40% is used as pasture; about. 43% are forested.

Artificial irrigation is poorly developed, and agriculture is therefore vulnerable to precipitation. However, Zambia has water reserves that provide opportunities for increased irrigation. In normal years, the country is mainly self-sufficient in food, and sometimes has an export surplus. Agriculture is mostly run by small farmers in a traditional and unproductive way, and consists mostly of maize, cassava, peanuts, sugar cane, sorghum, rice, wheat, millet and beans for their own use. Commercial agriculture consists of a few larger farms, as well as a considerable number of medium-sized farms. Main sales products are coffee, tobacco, cotton and vegetables.

Animal husbandry is extensive, but yields limited yield as the stock is not fully utilized. Pets are kept all over the country, as close as in the north as well as some areas where the tsetse fly occurs.

Forestry is significant, especially in the Copperbelt. Zambia's forests cover an area of ​​323 000 km2.

There are relatively large quantities of fish in lakes, rivers and swamps; the majority from Bangweulu. The most important fish species are capenta, which is especially found in Tanganyika, and tilapia (a bream fish).


Zambia's industry is relatively much developed on an African scale, but it has matured, and investment and modernization are needed. Industrialization has been a major consequence of the country's mining operations, including the metal industry in the Copperbelt. In addition, there are the most lighter consumer goods industries in the larger cities, as well as the production of mineral fertilizers and cement. A large part of former state-owned industrial enterprises were privatized from the late 1990s. For example, Norske Dyno Industrier ASA bought the majority stake in Zambia Detonators Ltd.

Foreign Trade

Zambia has had a positive trade balance with foreign countries at times, both because of high revenues from copper exports and strict import restrictions. The country relies on assistance from other countries and international organizations, and is one of the main recipients of Norwegian development assistance. The country's exports are dominated by copper, but its relative importance has declined substantially since the early 1990s.

Major trading partners are South Africa and the United Kingdom, as well as the countries of the COMESA region.

Transport and Communications

The road and rail network is poorly developed and partly poorly maintained. The transport network is to a large extent aimed at supplying the Copper Belt with goods and exporting the copper. At the beginning of the 21st century, there were 2164 km of railway and approx. 67 000 km of road. Until 1969, much of the freight by rail went to Mozambique, Angola and DR Congo. Due to war in several neighboring countries, for a period more and more of the freight on the road to Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. The Tazara Railway (Tanzania-Zambia Railway) was opened in 1974 with considerable Chinese assistance. The Benguela Railway to Lobito, Angola, was closed in 1975 because of the war there; rehabilitation started in 1997. Main roads also to Malawi, with connection to Mozambique and to Botswana. Oil pipeline from Tanzania with end point in Ndola. After Zimbabwe's independence, more of the traffic goes back to Zimbabwe - and on to South Africa - and Mozambique. Road connection between Zambia and Botswana was opened in 1984.

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