Intra-SADC Trade Performance Review 2006: Chapter 8: Zambia

Year of publication: 
Dale Mudenda, University of Zambia
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From the 1990s onwards, Zambia has experienced improved macroeconomic conditions. Since 1974, the country’s economy has registered positive economic growth rates and, in the period 2000-2005, those rates averaged at 4%. Overall, Zambia’s inflation rates declined and its exchange rates stabilised, while its external debt dropped from US$7.1bn in 2002 to less than US$500m in 2006. That massive decline was the result of debt forgiveness associated with the country’s qualification under the HIPC initiative.

Despite the country’s successes, two-thirds (68%) of the populace continue to live on less than a dollar a day. Zambia faces a number of export market access problems linked to technical barriers to entry. This is the case for Zambian sugar exports to the SADC and the EU regions, which are limited by quotas, and for other goods, such as cotton, which need to be processed only up to a specified level to enter in these markets.