ZAMBIA remains vulnerable to developments in the global economy due to its balance of payments position which has deteriorated reflecting a widening current account deficit, says Bank of Zambia Governor Denny Kalyalya.
And the Bank of Zambia has launched a new tactile feature on the Zambian banknotes for the visually impaired to be rolled out during the closure of the last quarter of 2015.
In a statement issued by the central bank’s head of communications division, Dr Kalyalya said both traditional and non-traditional exports had declined significantly this year while imports declined at a slower pace resulting into the depreciation of the Kwacha.
Dr Kalyalya explained that emerging markets had experienced systematic net outflows of capital, hence creating pressure on their currencies to depreciate.
He said global economic developments over the past two weeks had such adverse effects on many emerging and developing economies, including Zambia.
He said the Central Bank had been closely monitoring developments in the global economy, and the resultant impact they have had on the domestic economy and the local currency. “Growth in the global economy remains modest and uneven. According to the July 2015 International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook update, growth for 2015 is projected at 3.3%, 0.2 percentage points lower than in the April outlook.”
“While growth in the United States and the United Kingdom is now projected at 2.5% and 2.4%, growth for the Euro area and Japan, is projected at 1.5% and 0.8%, respectively,” he said. He explained that in the Sub-Saharan Africa, growth was projected to slow to 4.4% in 2015 compared with 5.0% in 2014, largely reflecting the drop in commodity prices that had led to deterioration in external sector performance, particularly for commodity exporters.
Dr Kalyalya also said commodity prices, including copper, had dropped with the Zambian economy impacted adversely through the decline which had fallen to around US$4,900 per tonne from above US$6,500 per ton in 2014.
And Bank of Zambia head of public relations Kanguya Mayondi said the extra feature on the Bank notewas of great benefit to all sectors of society as it provided an extra security feature for Zambian banknotes. Mr Mayondi said the special marks were in the form of slanting lines on the front of each denomination.
He explained that the special feature ranged from two slanting lines on the lowest banknotes in family of the Zambian Kwacha (K2) to seven slanting lines on highest denomination (K100).
Mr Mayondi said the banknotes would also promote barrier free access to the payment in the country.
He said the feature was however not only for the visually impaired but for all citizens as it provided an extra security feature which made it difficulte for counterfeiters to duplicate.