Press Releases

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CTPD’S EXPECTATIONS FROM THE MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE UPCOMING DECISION

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As the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets to announce its monetary policy decision for the fourth quarter, the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) expectations are very high. This being the first monetary policy decision presided by the New Bank of Zambia Governor, Mr. Christopher Mvunga, it will set the tone on the policy direction he intends to take.

CTPD expects the committee to maintain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 8 percent. This measure is not only necessary to continue stimulating economic growth but also to allow time to assess the impact of the current rate on economic stimulation and to maintain financial sector stability........

CTPD’S EXPECTATIONS FROM THE FORTH COMING BONDHOLDER DECISION ON ZAMBIA’S REQUEST FOR DEBT SERVICE RELIEF

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Zambia’s economy has continued to experience serious macro-economic challenges, aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis on one hand and the debt situation on the other. According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the country’s external debt increased to US$11.97 billion at end June 2020 from US$11.48 billion at end 2019. The fiscal situation has continued to deteriorate as external debt repayments continue to increase, premised on the sustained depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha against the United States dollar. To address the debt situation, MoF begun the process of engaging all creditors to seek their approval for suspension of debt service payments for a period of six months in accordance with the terms of the G20 and Paris Club Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI)......

CTPD DONATES COVID-19 FINANCE RELIEF PACKAGES TO 250 SMALL-SCALE FARMERS IN CHOMA AND KALOMO DISTRICTS

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The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected the livelihoods, socio-economic stability, and the security of many families globally.

In Zambia, the uncertainty, preventive and containment measures against the pandemic, have introduced profound disruptions that have had severe effects and posed unique challenges, particularly to women owned-small business.Some of these challenges threaten to reverse the accumulated gains on gender equality, women entrepreneurship and women participation in productive agriculture.

Given the numerous challenges confronting small- scale farmers in Zambia ,the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) with support from the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA) this morning handed over a cheque worth K292,500.00 to Two hundred and fifty women farmers in Choma and Kalomo districts of Southern Province......

THE UNEXPLOITED POTENTIAL OF MANGANESE IN ZAMBIA

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Mining continues to be the mainstay of Zambia’s economy contributing around 14 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 70 percent of export earnings. The sector also contributes significantly to domestic revenue generation and employment. Despite being endowed with vast amount of mineral resources, Zambia’s mining sector has been heavily dependent on copper mining. This has dwarfed the exploitation of other minerals and has put the country in a high risk position owing to the fact that whenever copper prices plummet adverse ripple effects are sent across the economy. Thus, it is important that Zambia embarks on a robust diversification programme within and outside the mining sector.

IMPLICATIONS OF A DEPRECIATING KWACHA ON THE ZAMBIAN ECONOMY

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The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) observes that while the Kwacha has been depreciating over the past decade, the past one year has been unprecedented in terms of the rapidity of the loss of value of the currency against the United States (US) Dollar.

On 7 October 2019, the midrate Kwacha per US Dollar Exchange Rate stood at 13.1, rising to 19.6 by 2 September 2020, representing a 33% depreciation in only 11 months.

Recently, the Bank of Zambia explained that the Kwacha’s rapid depreciation has been attributed to low foreign exchange sales from the mining sector and an increase in foreign exchange demand for the importation of agricultural and medical supplies......

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As the 2020 fiscal year nears its end, the Minister of Finance of the Government of the Republic of Zambia will present the 2021 National Budget on Friday, 25th September, 2020. This national budget presentation comes at a time when the world is faced with the Covid-19 global health pandemic which has impacted negatively on lives and livelihoods. Faced with a deteriorating macro-economy, the government is expected to present a national budget which speaks to prevailing socio-economic circumstances while painting a picture of hope towards economic recovery.…….

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The Zambian Government has announced its strategy to increase its equity stake in Mopani Copper Mines Plc through ZCCM-IH. This sounds as a rational alternative to the current governance process of the mining sector by having a reference benchmark mine.

However, Government’s strategy in the mining sector is still not clear. The move to takeover Konkola Copper Mine followed now by increasing its equity stake in Mopani Mine is effectively sending a signal that the government is undertaking or inclining itself to a resource nationalism approach in the governance process of the sector.

The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) encourages Government to tread carefully in its agenda to take over Mopani Mine by first undertaking a due diligence exercise to verify technical and financial facts on the ground....

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Following the press statement issued by the President’s Press Secretary, Isaac Chipampe, announcing the summary dismissal of Bank of Zambia Governor, Dr. Denny Kalyalya and the subsequent replacement by Mr. Christopher Mvunga, we as the Civil Society Organisations wish to highlight the actual and potential economic implications such ad hoc change may set in motion given the nature of the prevailing economic conditions but also to provide sound advice on relief measures.

The Central Bank of any country is a crucial institution charged with the primary responsibility of promoting macroeconomic stability, partly as a signal of stability to global investors and financiers, and also as a vital ingredient in the economic growth equation....

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The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) commends the decision by Cabinet to approve the publication and introduction of the Public Procurement Bill, 2020 in the next Parliamentary sitting.

In a Press statement issued by the Chief Government Spokesperson Honourable Dora Siliya on the decisions made by Cabinet at the 17th Cabinet Meeting held at State House on 23rd July, 2020, it was announced that the Procurement Bill has been approved for publication and introduction in Parliament during the next sitting.....

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As the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets to announce its monetary policy decision this Wednesday, the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) expects the committee to either maintain the policy rate at 9.25% or reduce it.

This is in the quest to supplement efforts to curb the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, being put forth by Government in general and BoZ in particular.

While the Centre notes that inflation has continued to increase, rising to 15.8% in July from 14.0% in March, we remain cognizant of the fact that economic activity has continued to slow down on account of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.....

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The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has urged Government to consider the implications of the Food Reserve Bill 2020 because it does not address the historical inefficiencies of the Food Reserve Agency in its current form.

CTPD notes that the Food Reserve Bill 2020 does little to address historical controversies associated with the Food Reserve Agency such as increased presence in the commodity markets.

As CTPD we think that if care is not taken, the Food Reserve Bill 2020 risks creating a Food Reserve Agency full of contradictions, inefficiencies and a platform for rent-seeking behaviour by well-connected large-scale producers and political actors.....

DEPOLITISE THE GOLD MINING SECTOR

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The first step in crafting a formidable Gold game plan should be to depoliticize the sub-sector. It is important to stress that any plan that is going to be advanced will depend on the current political climate.

Political involvement at any level of the value chain will overshadow any strategy to transform Gold into a strategic mineral. Gold being strategic should induce macroeconomic stability and alleviate poverty levels. Therefore, there is need for Government to exhibit selflessness in the management process......

CTPD AGREES WITH FORMER FINANCE MINISTER’S REMARKS ON DEBT CANCELLATION

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The Centre for Trade Policy and Development agrees with Former Finance Minister, Honorable Ng’andu Magande’s remarks on the unlikeliness of Zambia’s debt cancellation.

CTPD also thinks that the lack of transparency on the terms and condition under which some of the loans were acquired makes it even more difficult to provide policy suggestions on how to progressively solve the debt challenge.

Indeed, the growing public debt has caused worry among many stakeholders among which includes the Civil Society Organizations with others beginning to make a call for debt forgiveness as the potential solution to the looming debt crisis.....

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