The exiting of Zambian President Edgar Lungu has spurred a lot of interest among investors, especially from the west.
The Lungu administration’s tenure was marked with contention and tax issues the mining industry regarded as repressive for investments.
The new president to be sworn today, Hakainde Hichilema had signaled a pause to the hostilities and a return to dialog with all stakeholders for the sake of all Zambians during the campaign.
As an indication of how relations had sored; in 2010, Zambia had twice as much copper produced than the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
By 2020, Zambia produced about half of what DRC did and missed out on the record prices experienced by the industry.
Zambia produced 882,06 tonnes of copper in 2020, up 13.6% from 776,430 tonnes produced in 2019 according former mines minister Richard Musukwa.
That earned the country about US $8.2 billion dollars at a rate of approximately $9,300 per ton.
Zambia is the second largest copper producer in Africa and it is in dire need for US dollars after it became the first country in the continent to default last month when it misses a coupon payment of its enormous debt.
There are a good bit of issues Hichilema’s administration will have to work through with the mining industry.
Some of the issues at the fore front are reduction of tax rates, tax credits for mineral royalties and the resumption of a conducive business atmosphere.
The Zambia Kwacha is now the best performing currency against the dollar since the election of the new president last week, a futher indication of what portends for the new era in Zambia.