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Mining the future in Zambia

Situated in East Africa, Zambia is an exquisite land shaded in copper hues. Along the Congolese Border, extravagantly-sized Zambian copper mines fuel the nation’s development. International investors, previously deterred by volatile governments, are flocking to the nation in a bid to boost copper production. Zambia is already the world’s largest exporter of copper. As the world moves towards renewable energy, Zambia’s vast copper and cobalt reserves will further improve economic conditions.

Zambia has registered a steady GDP growth since the turn of the century. The growth rates have averaged 6%. Post-COVID economic recovery has been aided by higher copper rates, better agricultural output, and a return of investor confidence. Culturally rich Zambia is a place where people truly believe in mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. The values of a close-knit family have survived the pangs of globalization.

The population, steadily growing at close to 3% annually, will soon demand more jobs and greater social security. The increasing presence of global mining companies is a positive sign to that end. The investments shall hopefully deliver the developmental progress that the people need and deserve.

Zambia export overview 

Recently, China promised to reconstruct the Tazara Railway line between Zambia and Tanzania. Being landlocked, Zambia’s primary access to seaports is through South Africa, Tanzania, and Namibia. Redevelopment of the Tazara railway line, initially constructed during the days of Mao Zedong, will boost Zambian exports’ competitiveness. The project is China’s biggest foreign aid injection in Africa.

Zambia has two of the twenty largest copper mines in the world. The country was the largest exporter of raw copper in 2020. The Trade Vision has extensive resources that inform traders of real-time trade developments in Zambia. Exporters and importers across the world have expanded their operations using data and marketing intelligence reports from The Trade Vision.

Zambia: Top export commodities    

1. Raw Copper ($5.77 billion)

2. Refined Copper ($2.03 billion)

3. Gold ($757 million)

4. Copper Ore ($195 million)

5. Raw Tobacco ($185 million)

Zambia: Top export countries

1. Switzerland ($3.46 billion)

2. China ($1.53 billion)

3. Namibia ($1.35 billion)

4. Democratic Republic of the Congo ($952 million)

5. Singapore ($913 million)

Zambia import overview

The growing Zambian population is increasingly centered around urban areas. Yet the Zambian economy is heavily dependent on subsistence farming. Unemployment is high. Poverty levels hover around 60%. Last year, the decent agricultural output was of little help in alleviating hunger. Aid agencies work actively with local organizations to supply desperate Zambians with food.  

The world hopes that incomes from Zambia’s extensive copper reserves trickle down to the people. The increase in income will lead to better consumption, which in turn will boost the nation’s economic prospects. Zambia’s imports speak of the country’s developmental nature. Most resources are invested in improving basic infrastructure.

Zambia: Top import commodities   

1. Refined Copper ($290 million)

2. Refined Petroleum ($216 million)

3. Crude Petroleum ($205 million)

4. Nitrogenous Fertilizers ($170 million)

5. Mixed Mineral or Chemical Fertilizers ($153 million)

Zambia: Top import countries

1. South Africa ($1.77 billion)

2. China ($916 million)

3. United Arab Emirates ($505 million)

4. Democratic Republic of the Congo ($372 million)

5. India ($303 million)

Zambia: What’s in store?

The government of President Hakainde Hichilema has brought back investor confidence by signing debt relief deals with China. This development has helped clear the way for a $1.4 billion relief package by the IMF. But before Zambia can become a truly global economy, the country must address its domestic economic issues. Overdependence on the public sector has resulted in a constricted bureaucratic system. This has further given rise to red-tapism and administrative hurdles.

The Hichilema government came to power on a thumping majority. They can use the opportunity to build the Zambian economy from the ground up. Besides, unlike elsewhere in Africa, Zambia must look to spread the incoming revenue among the people, and not limit it to a few hands at the top of society.        

Expand your business operations to Zambia with assistance from The Trade Vision. We are an international trade research company, and we provide actionable analytics that steers clear of the noise.

Contact us now at or call +1(307)7573116, to get started.

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