Publication Date

1999

Abstract

When Zambia embarked on a Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in 1992, there was tremendous hope for an economic turn-around. The Bretton Woods Institutions, advocated SAP as a condition for borrowing development funds. Hope has since turned into despair and disillusionment for most people. The goal of this study was to investigate how the economic reforms have affected people beyond economics. My research methodology included a review of other people's literature, obtrusive and unobtrusive observation, structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews and available recorded data. Approximately seventy percent of Zambians are living in abject poverty. Despondency and misery are rampant while the relative social and economic stability has been upset. General health standards and quality of life have declined. Much of the country's Gross National Product is being used to service foreign debt instead of for economic investment. According to my research findings and conclusion, a national referendum ought to be conducted to determine whether or not to discontinue SAP. National and foreign economists, Zambian government policy-makers, observers and the Bretton Woods Institutions should reassess their measurement of the performance of SAP in Zambia. Nationals should play a larger role in the planning and implementation of future economic reforms in Zambia and a national safety-net fund for the retrenched should be established. Investment in the agricultural and manufacturing industries should also be improved considerably.

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