Zambia, in southern Africa, is a landlocked country of rugged terrain and diverse wildlife, with many parks and safari areas. On its border with Zimbabwe is famed Victoria Falls – indigenously called Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “Smoke That Thunders” – plunging a misty 108m into narrow Batoka Gorge. Spanning the Zambezi River just below the falls is Victoria Falls Bridge, a spectacular viewpoint.
The economy is projected to grow by 1.0% in 2021 and 2.0% in 2022, underpinned by recovery in the mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. The recovery in international demand and copper prices are positive developments, while a reduction in COVID–19 cases will boost activity both in manufacturing and tourism. However, the economy faces substantial risks that a second wave of the pandemic will impede global economic recovery and stifle demand for copper. A second wave could also undermine the revival of such critical sectors as tourism and manufacturing. Failure to effectively implement the Economic Recovery Programme, which is intended to resolve most of the critical economic constraints—such as debt sustainability and stabilization of the macroeconomic environment—could also pose a high risk to Zambia’s economy. In the banking sector, the ratio of non-performing loans is expected to increase and contribute to a drying up of bank liquidity, dampening private sector activity. Against this backdrop, poverty is expected to increase due to significant job losses in the service sector (on average, 30.6%), manufacturing (39%), personal services (39%), and tourism (70%).
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