Harnessing Resource Revenues for Prosperity in Zambia

Issue: Research
Organization: OxCarre
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This paper examines the macroeconomic management of Zambia’s natural resource endowment over the past century.
Christopher Adam and Anthony Simpasa first describe how the state has adopted different strategies to secure a share of the rents from copper mining, as well as how these strategies have affected incentives for exploration and production, before offering an analysis of how associated macroeconomic policy regimes have shaped the value and distribution of natural resource rents in Zambia.
Their focus is principally on the shift from public back to private ownership, on control of the sector that took place at the end of the 1990s, and on how the terms of privatization affected the impact of the commodity price boom of 2003-2008 on the domestic economy. Adam and Simpasa suggest that while the state and people of Zambia captured a low percentage of the rents accruing from this boom, high levels of investment in the sector, combined with recent reforms to the mining taxation regime and in the conduct of macroeconomic policy have left Zambia better-placed to benefit from future growth in the copper sector.