ZAMBIA’s Kwacha has in the last one year gained by almost 33 per cent against the United States Dollar, making it the second best performing currency after the Russian Ruble, the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) has said.
ZICA president Cecilia Zimba said the currency’s bullish performance has been largely attributed to the positive optimism over the nation’s economy since President Hakainde Hichilema assumed office in August, last year.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Zimba indicated that the positive performance of the local currency had helped contain prices that were increasing due to the supply chain disruptions stemming from Russian invasion of Ukraine, coupled with the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and scares.
“We implore the Government to continue ensuring that the economic fundamentals such as inflation and exchange rates are closely watched and put in place mitigation measures,” she said.
Ms Zimba added that the local unit had also appreciated by seven per cent in the second quarter to K16.6 compared to K18.10 in the first quarter.
Ms Zimba said she was also optimistic that the economy had the potential to help to undertake the debt restructuring programme and obtain the US$1.4 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
She said the just ended African Union (AU) Coordination Meetings would help build a solid foundation for cooperation with countries on the continent based on shared history and values as well as respect for the rule of law.
“It was therefore important that Zambia successfully hosted the event as it was an opportunity to promote our beautiful country, hospitality and numerous opportunities in tourism, trade and investment among other areas,” Ms Zimba said.
She said ZICA agreed with calls from the AU member States to start producing inputs in their wide variety such as fertiliser and farming inputs on the continent as opposed to relying on countries outside Africa for important value chains.
Ms Zimba said the continent and Zambia in particular would continue to struggle in the area of food security if it still relies on importation of fertiliser from Europe. She said the institute was looking forward to a stabilisation of food security for households and the world as a whole to reduce poverty.