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THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR POVERTY ANALYSIS AND REDUCTION IN ZAMBIA
PREDICTION OF CROP PRODUCTION IN ZAMBIA USING CENSUS DATA
PRIVATISATION OF THE MINES IN ZAMBIA
A COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF THE APPLICATION OF ECONOMIC INSTRUMENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD REPUBLICS IN ZAMBIA
GENDERING ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN ZAMBIA
PERCEPTIONS OF DISABILTY IN ZAMBIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND OTHER SERVICE DELIVERY
UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE AS A CHANGE AGENT IN IMPROVING MANAGERIAL CAPACITY IN ZAMBIA'S EDUCATION SYSTEM
THE ROLE OF FORMAL SCHOOLING IN PROMOTING DEMOCRACY IN ZAMBIA
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THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR POVERTY ANALYSIS AND REDUCTION IN ZAMBIA

 Lawrence Mukuka*

Poverty analysis and reduction in Zambia is generally misconceived because it lacks an adequate understanding of its real causes and a vision. Part of this problem is caused by the nature and type of the formal education provided, which is as wide as the Atlantic and Indian Oceans combined but as shallow as a bathtub! In fact, too shallow to enable one to know and understand history, and too naïve to predict the future.

In the first decade of Zambia's independence (1964-1974) the country experienced some relative prosperity from a booming economy. This was facilitated by a small national population of about 4 to 4.5 million people. Before 1964, up to the Mulungushi Declaration of Zambia's economic reforms in 1968, which brought in government's direct participation in the economy, the country's formal economy was dominated by copper mining which was heavily controlled by non-Zambians.

The 1968 Mulungushi Declaration of direct government intervention in the economy, and the full implementation of the Declaration from 1972 to 1989, marked the establishment of a more restrictive policy environment that:

    (i) limited the degree of competition (internal and external) to which the domestic economy was exposed.

    (ii) suppressed the role of market mechanisms in guiding the allocation of resources; and

    (iii) overly extended the role of the public sector (World Bank, 1994, p.11).

    While politically this move appealed highly to the electorate and became consistent with the new self-determination, the inefficiencies of state-run commercial enterprises, mainly emanating from the government, spelled economic disaster:

    . mismanagement of the economy;

    . adoption and application of inappropriate technologies;

    . poor management and enormous waste of resources;

    . deterioration of social indicators of health, education, nutrition, infant mortality, life expectancy and access to safe drinking water and sanitation;

    . low or negative rates of GDP growth;

    . high unemployment and underemployment;

    . deteriorating of foreign exchange position;

    . rising inflation;

    . increase in public debt;

    . high levels of poverty and inequality in the distribution of income and wealth; and

    . a considerable part of the social service infrastructure in a state of disrepair.

    In the past twenty-three years (1974-1997), Zambia's' living conditions have deteriorated so much that most of the gains which were achieved in income distribution and social indicators during the economic years 1964 to 1974, have been reversed. The decline in economic productivity, output and investment between 1974 and 1997, have made Zambia's per capita national income and all its social indicators to fall dramatically.

    In view of the foregoing argument, a working definition of poverty is propose Poverty means low life expectancy, low educational opportunities, inadequate access to resources for a decent standard of living (e.g., income and consumption, housing, health, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, productive potential, and other central dimensions of well-being), and lack of freedom to exercise choice and participate in society.

    In addition to the post-independence macro-economic inappropriate policies and external shocks, there have also been other, probably even more formidable, causes of Zambia's poverty, that lie inside and outside of Zambia. Secondly, poverty in Zambia is typically `structural poverty' (i.e., it is man-made and NOT a result of the country's poor soil, harsh climate, inadequate resources and other physical or biological conditions). Instead, it is caused by the structural biases and distortions that are inherent in the country's (a) political; (b) economic; (c) educational; (d) relationships with rich countries; and (e) cultural institutions, in that order. It is these biases and distortions which mainly cause poverty and suppress national development in the country.

    Ultimately, in order for the national development process in the country to succeed, there should be comprehensive and well-targeted `structural transformations' in all these areas discussed above, in order to propel the country forward. These transformations should be more extensive, growth- and poverty reduction-oriented than the on-going structural adjustment program, and supported by progressive and development-oriented organisations. The proposed interventions in the discussed biases and distortions, are likely to cause the greatest impact on poverty reduction.

    The paper recommends the following five strategies for poverty reduction in Zambia:

    . To increase broad-based economic growth in agriculture and rural development;

    . To provide public physical infrastructure;

    . To increase productivity of the urban micro-enterprises and informal sector;

    . To develop human resources; and

    . To co-ordinate, monitor and evaluate poverty reduction programs.

    These five strategies encompass many sub-areas which have been at the centre of national development discussion for Zambia and other developing countries with similar characteristics. It is, therefore, recognised that other actors and stakeholders need not recognise their own areas but rather identify themselves with the national goals and co-operate with and support the government to make national development and poverty reduction a reality in Zambia. This would help to concentrate efforts and resources on specific goals, lessen scattering and misusing limited resources, and increase chances of success.

     



 

 

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