Zambia Economic Outlook 2012

Zambia Economic Outlook 2012

The recent Zambia Economic Outlook 2012 report from the African Development Bank Group states that the outlook for the Zambian economy remains favourable in the medium term, underpinned by robust growth and single digit inflation.

The report does however suggest that Zambia remains vulnerable to external shocks, whilst high youth unemployment and slow progress in poverty reduction could overshadow gains.

Zambia – an Africa Lion?

The term Asian Tiger was used in reference to the exceptional growth rates achieved by several countries in South-East Asia in the 1990s, with growth rates around the world sluggish many people are now starting to talk about an African Lion – according to The Economist magazine, 6 of the top 10 fastest growing economics between 2001 – 2010 where in Africa.

Furthermore, the Economist and IMF suggest that between 2011 and 2015 African countries (including Zambia) will account for 7 of the top 10 fastest-growing economies. Could this suggest that Africa is finally starting to realise its potential?

The African Challengers

Further evidence of the rise of African business comes from a report from The Boston Consulting Group  entitled, The African Challengers: Global Competitors Emerge from the Overlooked Continent

This report suggests that scores of African companies (The African Challengers) are competing and rapidly expanding in the global economy.

Key Highlights

The report highlights 3 keys to the success of The African Challengers:

  1. Native Advantages – natural resources, cheap labour, fast-growing population
  2. A Beneficial Business Environment – market deregulation, national economic development policies
  3. The Challenger Mindset – a willingness to be bold

The report also highlights 5 steps that The African Challengers must take to move up the globalization ladder.

Multi-Nationals in Zambia

Multi-nationals are now also starting to turn their attention to Africa. A recent report from Golman Sachs entitled Africa’s Turn also shows that multi-nationals and investors are paying particular attention to the opportunities that exist in Africa.

African Economic Outlook?

Despite the positive talk surrounding the growth rates being achieved by some African economies problems still remain (as highlighted in the Africa Competitiveness Report 2011 published by the World Economic Forum, World Bank and African Development Bank).

Others, such as The African Economic Outlook 2012 are more positive. They suggest that:

“Despite the challenging short-term outlook, the long term perspective is good…Today’s youth is better educated than any previous cohort and the growth rate of the population is beginning to decline, opening a window of opportunity to reap the demographic dividend. New technologies are providing an opportunity to leapfrog into a service-based economy. Rapid urbanisation, largely driven by youth, leads to higher work force densities that offer opportunities for the development of clusters. Urbanisation also benefits the rural economy through higher demand for agricultural products. Finally, the informal sector, long seen as problem is turning out to contain entrepreneurial talent that can foster job creation if adequately enabled by government policies.”

Share your views

How optimistic are you about the future of the Zambian economy? You can share your views on this article below.