Background: Zambia is a $20 billion economy with a population of 17 million people. The country is based in Southern Africa and is a major exporter of commodities such as copper and cobalt. Zambia is the 6th largest exporter of copper in the world and is currently diversifying its strong reliance on revenues from commodities. The rising debt of Zambia may have an impact on financing infrastructure projects with debt in the future as external debt is already 50% of GDP.
Geo-Economic Structure: Zambia has a welcoming business climate but due its reliance on copper exports has been for a number of years an underperformer in supporting the rapid diversification of the economy. Agriculture has been a strong contender to diversify the economy as only 25% of Zambia’s immense land resources (42 billion hectares) are used. The country also controls 40% of central and southern African water resources. Growth has been slow due to the slump in commodity prices resulting in lower GDP growth rate of 3% in 2016. The political landscape is still to prove if work will be done towards diversifying the economy and reducing the high levels of unemployment which are in the region of 13%.
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