GOVERNMENT must seriously consider diversifying the economy from over -dependence on copper to agriculture and tourism, says an economist and financial analyst Maambo Hamaundu
Mr Hamaundu said that the hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) summit by Zambia and Zimbabwe two years ago exposed Zambia’s tourism potential which was capable of improving the economy.
He said the slumping copper prices on the world market should act as a wake-up call to Government to stop over-dependence on the commodity and venture into agriculture and tourism.
“Zambia’s tourism potential was exposed during the UNWTO summit co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe some two years ago. And it is in this regard that the Government must take diversification seriously and consider both agriculture and tourism as potential substitutes,” he said.
He said the issue of diversification had dragged on for a long time and that it was high time Government put it into practice.
Mr Hamaundu said agriculture was a diverse element in itself because it involved both rearing of livestock and growing of crops.
He said unlike copper which was a diminishing resource, agriculture could survive the various seasons hence proving to be more reliable.
He said the promotion of agriculture and tourism could cushion the financial impact Zambia might incur as a result of a slump in copper prices globally.
Mr Hamaundu said if diversification had been taken seriously Zambia would have been a food basket by now and could be supplying food to other regions.
“Zambia couldn’t have even felt the impact of a reduction in copper prices if we had diversified to agriculture and tourism. By this time we could have been supplying food to other countries in the region,” he said.