The economic policies of Zambia’s first independent government, the United National Independence Party (UNIP), had disastrous results - turning Zambia from a middle-income into a least developed country. Following a difficult adjustment period, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy’s reversal of many UNIP policies led to over a decade of rapid growth and falling poverty. Despite their apparent success, policies such as privatisation were unpopular and the Patriotic Front administration from 2011 reverted to many of UNIP’s policies. This led once again to low growth and Zambia defaulting on its debt. As the United Party for National Development administration seeks to repair the damage, this article highlights four key economic lessons from the UNIP era which are crucial for sustainable growth and poverty reduction: (1) fiscal discipline is vital; (2) investment must be economically viable; (3) government should focus on public services and leave business to the private sector; and (4) untargeted subsidies do not help the poor.
"Learning from Zambia's Economic Policy Reversals,"
Southern African Journal of Policy and Development: Vol. 7:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/sajpd/vol7/iss1/5