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This week in 10

7th national development plan almost ready

A committee of permanent secretaries has endorsed the draft of the Seventh National Development Plan 2017-2021, and it will now go for approval before cabinet. This development plan has been touted – by Finance Minister Felix Mutati – as charging the way out of Zambia’s economic morass. President Lungu is expected to launch the new [...]

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Internet censorship exists in Zambia

An analysis of internet censorship in three African countries shows that the practice does indeed exist in Zambia. However, it also shows that no websites were directly blocked during last year’s elections. Africa’s first known case of internet censorship actually occurred in Zambia in the run-up to the 1996 general elections. Back then, government banned [...]

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Big supermarkets hold back economic development

The many supermarket chains in Zambia are not benefitting local suppliers. This is the result of a study of supermarkets in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In theory, supermarkets can stimulate food processing and light manufacturing, but onerous requirements and exertion of buyer power work in the opposite direction. Supermarkets dictate pricing and trading [...]

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ZRA loses millions every day to smugglers

Customs officers, clearing agents and their clients are cheating the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) of millions of Kwacha every day at Livingstone and Nakonde Border Posts, ZRA commissioner general Kingsley Chanda told the Daily Nation. The extent of the smuggling at the two border posts is so rampant that entire 30 tonnes trucks are now [...]

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No more employment permits!

Government has suspended the renewal of employment permits for expatriates until further notice. Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo explained that government is not satisfied with the private sector’s efforts to train Zambians to take over from expatriates, seemingly taking a swipe at the mining sector in particular. A committee has been instigated to look [...]

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This week’s figure: The dam is filling up!

Kariba Dam is filling up (figure – black line), but the Zambezi River Authority has reminded people that it will take at least three years of normal to above-normal rainfall to reach water levels that will allow for maximum electricity generation, and warned that load-shedding is here to stay. The lake is currently 26% full [...]

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Locusts ARE on the move

The area under attack from locusts in Central Province is increasing. The Times of Zambia reported at the beginning of the week that migratory locusts have now invaded 3,500 hectares, affecting about 2,500 farmers, up from last week’s 800 hectares, and the farmers are getting desperate for assistance. The International Red Locust Control for Central [...]

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Razel-Bec to rehabilitate Kariba Dam

Zambia and Zimbabwe have awarded the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam to Razel-Bec of France. In 2014, stories began to circulate that Kariba Dam was in need of urgent repairs, or it could collapse. The resulting panic brought the donors to the table, and in September 2014, it was announced that funding would be provided [...]

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Will the plan to lower mealie meal prices backfire?

The Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) has warned government that its plan to lower mealie meal prices is ill-conceived. Government has partnered with the Grain Traders Association of Zambia to supply millers with cheap maize through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). However, only 12 of the registered 78 millers have been approved, and ZNFU pointed [...]

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Third satellite TV network launched

Africa’s newest satellite network, Kwesé TV, is now available in Zambia, turning up the heat under DStv/Multichoice, which is already under pressure from Star TV of China. Kwesé TV is riding on the back of the success of its free Kwesé Free Sports, which is available in 22 countries, and has broadcasting rights to many [...]

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