Govt worries over low copper prices

DECLINING copper prices have continued to pose serious challenges to the Zambian economy, says Fianance Minister Alexander Chikwanda.

Mr Chikwanda said low revenue from copper had become a major threat  to employment and other challenges in the mining sector.

He  said this in a speech read for him by his permanent secretary Pamela Kabamba at  the official  opening of the 21st Africa Export-Import Bank -AFREXIMBANK- Advisory Group Meeting in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr Chikwanda said Zambia like many other major commodity exporting countries, the country was making huge spending cuts in response to falling mineral revenue receipts.

“The sharp reversal of commodity prices in the world markets during 2014 re-echoed the question of sustainability of the continent’s growth momentum,” said Mr Chikwanda

The minister  noted that continued excessive dependency on natural resources which was exposing many countries to recurrent adverse terms of trade.

He however reiterated Government’s support to AFREXIMBANK’s programs and efforts as a shareholder.

And AFREXIMBANK President Jean-Louise Ekra said there was need for African countries to put in place various measures for social and economic development of the continent.

Mr. EKRA saidfocus needed to centre on  transforming the economy of and deepen integration that will help provide basic needs for the growing population on the African continent.  The Advisory Group Meeting is under the theme “Contending with Headwinds: Impact of Recent Adverse Shocks on Africa’s Growth Prospects.”