STANDARD Chartered Bank says Zambia’s economic prospects remain sound despite the weakening of the Kwacha.
Standard Chartered Bank managing director Andrew Okai said the country’s economic prospects will remain positive in the medium to long term because of Zambia’s good economic policies.
“We are all aware and concerned about the currency situation at present. However, we remain confident about the medium and long-term economic prospects for Zambia,” he said.
The Kwacha has continued to depreciate since the start of the year with the local unit falling to a record low breaching the K7 mark against the United States (US) dollar last week.
Last week, financial market analyst Maambo Haamaundu attributed the depreciation to a mismatch between demand and supply due to high appetite for the dollar and reduced inflows of foreign exchange on the backdrop of falling copper prices on the international market.
Mr Okai, however, said stakeholder involvement will be critical in accelerating development.
“Government is taking measures to address the matter. Companies in Zambia should rally behind the government on these efforts,” he said during the bank’s priority banking client dinner dance in celebration of the African Liberation Day in Lusaka on Thursday evening.
Mr Okai said the bank, which has been operating in Zambia for over 100 years, remains committed to contribute to the economic growth of the country.
“We have lived through the liberation struggle. We have lived through the independence period. We have lived through the economic changes and this demonstrates the bank’s commitment to Zambia’s economy,” he said.
Earlier, former special assistant for political affairs and international security to first President Kenneth Kaunda, Mark Chona, said financial institutions also played a key role towards Zambia’s independence.
“Without the banks and the business community, liberation from colonial rule would have been impossible because banks and the business community facilitated funds for independence operations,” he said.
Zambia Daily Mail