On Zambia’s coat of arms is etched the country’s official motto: ‘One Zambia, One Nation.’ In a country where 70 ethno-linguistic groups live side by side, Zambia’s motto was adopted, in 1964, to instill the importance of national unity.
It still remains a point of elevated pride to many Zambians, this is a unity that has seen Zambia remain peaceful for 55 years now. While the state-building of Kenneth Kaunda cannot be overestimated, it is time for Zambia to continue its path towards prosperity, through peace and unity.
Looking forward to Zambia’s prospects in 2019, the signs are positive. With inflation to remain within the range of 6-8% and robust GDP growth of at least 4%, the vision of continued macro-economic stability is projected to be sustained. All in accordance with the Seventh National Development Plan [7NDP], the current administration’s measures for austerity, fiscal consolidation, and economic stabilisation are aimed at creating a strong foundation for improved economic management, sustained growth, and safeguarding the people’s welfare.
While the prospects are bright, it is the fundamentals that always makes Zambia an attractive place to look at. “Zambia has a young and highly-educated population. The growth of the middle sector is getting bigger year after year,” states Atlas Mara’s James Koni. “So, if you put all those variables together, you will see that the macro factors point to a country that is growing, that’s stable, that can make you do business and make money.”
Cheap energy, vast mineral resources and fertile land all point to great potential but one point of pride is the country’s access to market. “If you build a successful business, you will see that it will offer you more return on your investment than expected,” affirms Dr Mohamed El Sahili, ex-CEO of Fairy Bottling Zambia. Zambia is utilising it’s land-linked position to grow its transport and logistical sector to become a hub for the southern African region.
“What seemed to be a weak spot has actually turned out to be a strength. Now we say that Zambia is land-linked,” states Zambia Airports Corporation’s Fumu Mondoloka. “Through Zambia you can get access to all those countries, essentially: we now see that we are conveniently positioned to be the aviation hub we want to be.” For a company with a global network like Bolloré Logistics, “Zambia is a very important part of this network because it is at a crossroad of the mining sector and the ports. Zambia is what we call a land-linked country, which is very different from the idea of a landlocked country: that mindset gives opportunities and hope rather than a feeling of being stuck.” states Bollore’s Managing Director, Olivier Terra.
Fifty five years later, after the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ motto was coined, Zambia remains a shining example of nation building within the African continent. Looking ahead towards the next 55 years, Zambia works tirelessly towards replicating Kenneth Kaunda’s unified national vision on an economic scale, through the stabilisation and strong growth of all its sectors through industrialisation.