IT is wrong to insinuate that the Zambian economy has collapsed as there is no way it can breakdown when it still has great unexploited potential for economic growth, says Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Denny Kalyalya.
Dr Kalyalya said in an interview that the Zambian economy would only collapse if nothing was done to exploit the available potential in different economic sectors.
He said it was impossible for the economy to collapse when the country was still recording economic growth even if it was slow.
“Those who are speaking positively about the economy should continue being optimistic because this economy has not collapsed; we are still talking of growth and, yes, it’s low growth but it is growth nonetheless,” Dr Kalyalya said.
He said there were unexploited potential in economic sectors such as agriculture and energy which when exploited would bring about economic growth.
“But I think there are still opportunities within what is happening; we still have unexploited areas when we talk of agriculture, agro- industry.
“And we have to go beyond maize in agriculture; there are other things such as livestock and fisheries, all these are areas where Zambians can do a lot better,” Dr Kalyalya said.
He said Zambia boasts of having 40 percent of the water in the sub-Saharan region and yet it was not being utilized in the energy sector.
Dr Kalyalya said Zambia had to learn from other countries which depended on one river and yet they were performing a lot better in the energy sector because they exploited the available opportunities.
“Talk of energy, we boast of having 40 percent of the water resources. There are countries depending on one river and they are doing a lot better, why? So I think we can take lessons from that.
“What I am saying is that the economy will collapse if we all do not do anything about it but I can assure you that with these challenges, a lot better can come out of it but we have to seize those opportunities,” he said.
Dr Kalyalya said there was need to be fully focused and apply the knowledge on the many opportunities Zambia had to grow the economy.
He was optimistic that something better could come out of the current economic challenges.
Meanwhile, Dr Kalyalya said BoZ was aware of shopping malls which were charging customers in the United States dollars and that the central bank would soon visit them to understand their reasons because their actions were not helping banks’ efforts to stabalise the kwacha.
He said the actions by some people who charged in dollars contributed to the depreciation of the kwacha.
“We will pay those colleagues a visit to understand why they are doing that because they should also help us to bring that stability because if we become stable, there will be no need for that.
‘‘This is not helping the efforts to get the stability that we are looking for in the economy.
“I can assure you that if tomorrow the kwacha appreciated they will dump (the dollar) again and go back to the other side. You can’t always be on the winning side, so please this is a matter which is important to the economy,” he said.