Can Zambia capitalize on its Copper?
Can Zambia capitalize on its Copper?

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Can Zambia capitalize on its Copper?

The best Question one can is that can Zambia capitalize on its Copper? In Southern Africa, Zambia’s copper mines are one of the main contributors to the country’s GDP. However, the government has had some trouble in the past with extracting and processing this precious metal, so it’s trying again with a new administration and some different tactics. Find out how this strategy will affect Zambia’s ability to manage its mining industry and potentially put itself on the map as an African mining powerhouse.

Successful economies need raw materials

There’s no doubt that copper is one of Zambia’s most valuable resources. And yet, under President Sata, mining has taken a backseat to agriculture and manufacturing. It seems that, with his focus on developing alternative industries, President Sata forgot about Zambia’s greatest economic resource. Now is a good time for him to revisit his policy towards mining; it is essential for job creation and economic growth. A strong mining industry would also serve as an important hedge against commodity price volatility in future. If Zambia wants to reach middle-income status by 2030, it needs to build on its existing strength—not just rely on new sectors such as tourism or manufacturing.

The driving force behind the economy

Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, sitting between Tanzania and Angola. It has rich deposits of copper and cobalt, with small amounts of other minerals such as gold and emeralds. It’s ranked as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. But what can it do to ensure that pace continues into future years? That’s where trade comes in. Trade is vital for economic growth; it allows you to sell goods or services abroad, bringing in money from outside your economy and boosting your own exports at home. The more you trade, the greater your potential for economic growth. Let’s take a look at how Zambia can capitalize on its copper production…
Zambia has vast reserves of copper and cobalt – enough to supply global demand until 2033 according to some sources – so why hasn’t it become a major player in international trade? To put it simply, lack of infrastructure. The ports are unable to handle all of Zambia’s mineral exports. And while China is helping build a new rail line that will bypass Zimbabwe, transporting goods across Zambia itself isn’t feasible due to poor roads.

Will China buy all of Zambia’s copper production?

China is already one of Zambia’s biggest trading partners, but it has not yet bought any of that country’s copper. And with more Chinese investment coming to Zambia and potentially lower demand for copper from other countries, will China soon be buying all of Zimbabwe’s exports? How can we encourage Chinese companies to buy up even more of our natural resources, particularly when so many other world powers are beginning to turn their backs on them?

Challenges and opportunities ahead

The global copper price is expected to rise in 2018, which should boost investor interest in Zambia’s copper industry and economy as a whole. While that would be a welcome development for Zambians, investors will likely seek better deals than those offered by state-owned companies such as Konkola Copper Mines and Chambishi Metals—as well as higher local content requirements. Meanwhile, uncertainty over tax incentives could slow down foreign investment in other sectors of Zambia’s economy.


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