Economy and Investments 

Economic Outlook

Zambia’s economy extended its growth momentum in 2012. Growth was driven by expansion in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transport and finance. Economic prospects for the future appear bright if growth can be sustained and broadened to accelerate job creation and poverty reduction. Click here for more information from the African Development Bank.

Economic Freedom 

Zambia’s economic freedom score is 60.4, making its economy the 88th in the 2014 Index. Its score is 1.7 points higher than last year due to notable improvements in five of the 10 economic freedoms including business freedom, investment freedom, and the management of public spending. Zambia is ranked 9th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is just above the world average. Click here to read more information on Zambia’s Economic Freedom by the Heritge Foundation.

Investment Market Opportunities

There are commercial opportunities in Zambia’s emerging economy. A middle class has developed in population centers that have resulted in a proliferation of South African franchises, a construction boom, and a formidable banking sector (although mostly risk-averse). In general, most sectors are uncompetitive and are dominated by a few large players, leaving plenty of room for new market entrants. Market opportunities abound in the following sectors:
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism
Click here for more information on American Businesses Doing Business in Zambia                        

Investing in Zambia and Sub-Saharan Africa

Over 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, and developing countries already account for nearly half of U.S. exports. During the last decade, 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have maintained growth rates between 5 and 7% annually and Zambia is one of them. This growth presents significant opportunities for U.S. exports and one of the Bureau of African Affairs’ key priorities is to identify commercial opportunities for U.S. firms in sub-Saharan Africa, and assist them to take advantage of these opportunities. For U.S. firms interested in accessing U.S. Government international trade assistance services via the Department of Commerce’s Trade Information Center, Click here for more information.

International Relations 

U.S. – Zambia Relations Before Independence, in 1960, Kenneth Kaunda visited Martin Luther King (MLK) in Atlanta to understand the non-violence philosophies used during the civil rights movement. This was the foundation and approach used by Kenneth Kaunda in obtaining Zambia’s independence. The United States established diplomatic relations with Zambia in 1964, following its independence from the United Kingdom.  Zambia had single-party rule from independence until 1973, when it formally became a one-party state. In 1991, elections replaced the country’s 27-year president as Zambia began adopting multi-party democracy and a more liberalized economy. Despite Zambia’s economic growth, many rural Zambians continue to live in poverty. The Zambian Government is pursuing an economic diversification program to reduce the economy’s reliance on the copper industry. The country’s challenge is to promote broad-based economic growth, create employment, and develop its human capital. The United States and Zambia enjoy cordial relations. U.S. goals in Zambia include reducing widespread poverty and building and sustaining a democratic, well-governed country that contributes positively to regional stability. The United States works closely with the Zambian Government to defeat the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is stabilizing in Zambia, to promote economic growth and development, and to bring about political reform by promoting democratic principles and responsible government. The United States is also supporting the government’s efforts to root out corruption. Click here for more information

U.S. backed Investment Initiatives

   The African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum (AGOA) The AGOA Forum is the only annual U.S. government ministerial meeting with sub-Saharan Africa. The brings together over 1,600 participants, including senior U.S. government officials, African government ministers and officials from the 37 AGOA beneficiary countries, African regional organizations, as well as U.S. and African business and civil society representatives. In addition, there are private sector and civil society activities, as well as youth and women’s entrepreneurship events. AGOA Benefits for US Businesses:
  • Stronger commercial ties between Africa and the United States
  • Better market opportunities and stronger commercial partners in Africa for U.S. companies
  • Harmonized intra-regional trade, expanding Africa’s potential as a U.S. trading partner
  • Lowered African trade barriers, making the continent an easier place for U.S. companies to do business
Click here for more information on AGOA 2. African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program International Exchange (AWEP) AWEP is a Department of State partnership among the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, the Bureau of African Affairs, and the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.  Since its inception in 2010, the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program has empowered African business owners and provided them the tools to: export to the United States under the terms of AGOA; increase their export capacities; strengthen public-private partnerships to reinforce program goals; and to establish or expand business relationships with U.S. partners. Overall, this initiative seeks to empower African women entrepreneurs by:
  • Expanding opportunities for exports and U.S. investment in sub-Saharan Africa under AGOA;
  • Recognizing and expanding the roles women play as advocates for strengthening national business climates for all  women; and
  • Instituting follow-up programs so that participants, in their role as community leaders, can pass on what they learn.