SADRN Policy Brief 5: Export diversification in Zambia and Botswana: Little progress so far

  • Project: SADRN
  • Year: 2011

There is increasing evidence that export diversification is linked to growth. However, possibly less than 10 African countries show signs of export diversification, with manufacturing making up at least 25% of total exports. Botswana and Zambia are both heavily reliant on primary commodity exports. In Zambia, the dominance of copper was such that only 6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was manufacturing at independence in 1964 – 90% of export revenues were with copper. Zambia has had two main eras of economic policy since independence, with a central planning approach in the first period. In 1991 Zambia evolved to a market economy model. Policies and the role of government differed – from that of investor to facilitator – but the outcome was similar: mineral exports have remained high and dominate the portfolio of goods exported.

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