Exports and export diversification policy in Zambia
Thesis (MDF)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Zambia’s dependence on copper for its export revenue is a theme that is well documented and copper mining has been the bedrock of the country’s economic fortunes since the year it gained independence in 1964. However, from the early 1970s when global commodity demand and prices started to fall, the country’s economic fortunes began to falter and the realisation dawned that dependence on copper, which is prone to global price shocks created instability in the export revenue. Therefore, successive governments have made policy pronouncements intended to diversify the economy away from copper mining. The theme of diversification featured more prominently in the country’s long-term vision called “Vision 2030”. The key aspiration in this vision was to become a prosperous middle-income country by the 2030, which was going to be achieved through the creation of an economy that was competitive, self-sustaining as well as dynamic and resilient to external shocks. In achieving the aspirations of vision 2030, the country envisioned to have a diversified and balanced economy driven by a strong industrial sector. The vision 2030 was going to be operationalised through medium term plans like the FNDP. The FNDP underscored the importance of export diversification in achieving the aspirations of Vision 2030. This study therefore undertook to investigate the impact of the export diversification policy on the country’s export concentration in terms of both products and markets. Using time series data from the year 1996 to 2015 and using the Herfindahl-Hirschman product and market concentration indices, the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) approach was employed to carry out the investigation. Despite the mainstreaming of export diversification policy in both the fifth and sixth national development plans, it was found that the diversification policy pronouncements have not had the desired impact on the country’s export composition, highlighting the need for policies and activities that will accelerate and promote the export diversification process.
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