BUUMBA CHIMBULU [email protected]
ZAMBIA needs policies that are reflective of what is currently unfolding both in the domestic and the global economy as economies are evolving.The country needs to have a flexible policy regime which allows for constant dialogue between Government, investors and other key stakeholders, says Founder of Betternow Finance Company, Noel Nkhoma.Mr Nkhoma said the dialogue should be anchored on mutual respect and understanding, with a user-friendly policy framework and tax regime.“We cannot afford at this moment in time to let the economy go off the rails. We must also take actions that speak to some kind of growth trajectory.“The balance is difficult, but we have to appreciate the circumstances that we find ourselves in. If we are to navigate a way out of this, first of all we should have a post-mortem in terms of how we got to where we are,” he told the Mining for Zambia magazine.Government, he said, may have to make decisions which might compromise good intentions to protect lives such as opening up the economy so that it did not totally collapse.Mr Nkhoma, also Former president of the Economics Association of Zambia said however observed the need for human capital to drive economic growth going forward, post-COVID-19.“To me, to a great extent, it’s through mismanagement of the economy. This was a thriving economy with a prosperous citizenry. For the first time, we built a middle class, which has now been more or less depleted,” he said.He also said an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme was vital as would introduce discipline in terms of how Zambia managed its resources.Mr Nkhoma said the programme would also bring some credibility to the Government, which was lacking while restoring the confidence of domestic investors and foreign investors.
“We may be hoping that, if we are able to get back on an IMF programme, things will begin to fall into place. But I think, most importantly, the economy has lacked diversification for many years,” he said.