PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed new Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Denny Kalyalya to use his experience to resuscitate the Kwacha which has fallen drastically against convertible currencies such as the United States dollar.
The President said the Government will count on Dr Kalyalya to improve the performance of the local currency and that he should work hand in hand with the Ministry of Finance in looking for solutions.
President Lungu was speaking at State House yesterday when he swore in Dr Kalyalya who was recently ratified by Parliament as BoZ governor.
“You’re an old broom to the Bank of Zambia and Zambian economy; we expect you to know all the corners…sweep all the corners clean and help to resuscitate the Kwacha’s strength against the dollar, and the economy generally.
“We can count on you. Naturally, the Ministry of Finance is your parent ministry. I am sure they will go out and help you,” President Lungu said.
The Head of State said many other currencies in the region were struggling against major international currencies but he emphasized that this should not be the reason to allow the Kwacha to continue declining.
Mr Lungu said Dr Kalyalya was not new to the Central Bank and was expected to find solutions to the currency and the economy as a whole.
“The challenge we face is the declining value of the Kwacha. It is a regional phenomenal, some people don’t know that. We are sure you will find the magic formula and I know that you will because Zambia is a unique economy.
“We can’t say that because currencies in the region, in neighbouring countries are all falling, we should allow our Kwacha to slip to where it is today,” the President said.
Dr Kalyalya worked at the Bank of Zambia for 14 years.
Meanwhile, Dr Kalyalya said the events of the recent past have shown that the Kwacha and other currencies were under pressure due to a number of factors.
He said the role of the Central Bank was to try to manage volatility in the exchange rate and his role would be to try and reach out to the stakeholders who have a bearing on the performance of the kwacha.
“In our case copper is our main export commodity and prices of copper have been coming down and you will note that whenever copper prices change, the performance of the Kwacha also changes.
“We do have a challenge as a country to see to it that we have market exports. That is the only surest way in which we can stabilise,” he said.