Dependence on imports hurting Kwacha


THE Zambian Kwacha will remain vulnerable to other foreign currencies if the country continues to be dependent on imported goods, says Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers (ZUFIAW) president Ackim Mweemba.

Mr Mweemba said without producing items locally and adding value to them for export it would be difficult to stabilize the Kwacha. nt, Mr Mweemba said there was need therefore for Government to grow other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, financial, manufacturing, construction, transport, energy and communication instead of relying on mining alone. He also said that for as long as Zambia’s trade with other countries remained lop sided, the economy would continue to face numerous challenges.

Mr Mweemba explained that when items were bought in dollars during importation it caused a strain on the reserves when demand for the dollar went up.

“Zambia is too dependent on foreign products to an extent where we even import fish from China, eggs and potatoes from South Africa and rice from Tanzania and India,

“Surely, are we saying that we do not have farmers in Zambia capable of producing these products locally?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Mr Mweemba said that investing in renewable energy such as wind turbines, natural gases and solar could be ideal in view the current power deficits. Mr Mweemba said such sources of energy could act as ideal alternatives to hydropower.

“Given that currently we have a 560 MW power deficit, a situation likely to only get worse as demand for electricity grows by 200MW annually there should be massive investment in the energy sector to provide a lasting solution to the power crisis,” he said. Mr Mweemba said Government needed to promote the consumption of local products to give local producers a market for their products.