World Bank optimistic about Zambia’s economic forecast

10 Mar 2020

World Bank Zambia’s economy is forecast to expand by over 3% in 2020, compared to around 2% last year, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu believes. 

The country’s fiscal deficit is expected to remain at a high, as the government borrows more to fund spending. 

Electricity shortages brought about by a drought which hit hydropower generation weighed heavily on economic growth in Africa’s second-largest copper producer. Last month, the government said it is now drawing attention towards expanding green energy capacity to offset the impact. 

World Bank Executive Director for the Africa Group 1 Constituency Anne Kabagambe is certain that the action being taken by the Zambian government will help provide stability to the economy. 

During a courtesy call with the finance minister last month, Kabagambe said she is also enthused for the completion of the government-led movement on project re-scoping, public debt restructuring, and other asset and liability management initiatives.

The major issues discussed during the talks include the programme of work during the 2020 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, the prospect of enhanced technical assistance from the World Bank, Zambia’s public debt management approach, budget support, energy sector reforms and social sector investments.

During the call, the World Bank executive director also announced availability to provide funding for refugee programs. 

She commended Zambia for being a nation which willingly welcomes refugees from troubled regions, noting that it is admirable and requires further support. 

Kabagambe also took the opportunity to urge Dr Ng’andu to continue to make sure that the fruitful developments in the economy are relayed to all stakeholders, including those in the international community.