Zambia - Foreign policy

Mwanawasa's predecessor, Frederick Chiluba, began his second term in 1996 as the darling of the international community, mostly for his economic reforms. During the campaign Mwanawasa accused international organizations of excessive meddling in the country's affairs, which resulted in a cooling-off of relations with most Western donor nations. In March 2002, a delegation of government officials from Europe visited Zambia to discuss the transfer of power in the government following the election. One of the areas of interest for the delegation is the condition of the mining industry in Zambia, and the predicted effects of Anglo American mining's announcement that, in light of depressed worldwide prices for copper, it would end its two-year investment in Zambia's copper mines, adding thousands of Zambians to the already swollen ranks of the unemployed.

Mwanawasa's administration sought to shore up the weak economy by banning the import of goods from Zimbabwe, including cigarettes, alcohol, and agricultural products. The government also intervened in the currency market, since black-market trading of Zambian and Zimbabwean currencies were damaging Zambian producers' ability to market their goods, and Zimbabwean goods were being dumped in Zambia at below-market prices. To outside observers, Mwanawasa's government was fighting an uphill and futile battle; they warned that implementing protectionist procedures would not result in long-term stability. However shortsighted they may be, the Zambia National Farmers Union and the Zambia Association of Manufacturers supported the government's plan to ban Zimbabwean dumping of goods into Zambia. The farmers have charged that Zambia's interest rates and electricity and fuel costs are higher than those in neighboring countries, making home-grown products more expensive, and therefore not competitive.

Also read article about Zambia from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: