|The Courier N° 121 March-april 1990- Dossier Refugees - Country Reports: Botswana - Zambia (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)|
|Zambia: Copper, a fickle friend|
Cooperation between the EEC and Zambia has developed considerably since Lom took effect in 1975. The Community let the country have something like ECU 348 million in grants, emergency aid and indicative programme, Sysmin and NGO contributions under the first three Conventions- EDF aid worth ECU 183.6 million for the indicative programmes, for example, and ECU 83 million for Sysmin- and there has been ECU 77 million from the EIBs own resources on top of this, bringing EEC aid to Zambia in 1975-90 up to about ECU 425 million. Regional organizations such as the Preferential Trade Area and SADCC, of which Zambia is also a member, received assistance from the Community too, so EEC aid covers a vast area of the nations economic and social development.
It was in 1982 that the Commission, of the European Communities announced that Zambia was in the first group of countries which the EEC would be joining in new schemes to help right their food imbalances and assist the development of farming and the rural world by helping devise a food strategy and giving the authorities assistance with running it. The Community has been giving the Government its support in the shape of food aid ever since. For various reasons to do with the economic situation, this has not reduced the need for European food aid- and President Kaunda has even said it tended to discourage the Zambians from making an effort to improve their agriculture. Yet food aid has been very useful to these people.
Sysmin, the Lomining support system, has made a major financial contribution to maintaining and developing Zambias copper and other mineral industries. Copper makes up the bulk of the countrys export earnings and a combination of lower world market prices and dwindling production hit State finances hard. Sysmin has been a great help in keeping Zambian mining afloat since October 1981 and Francis Kaunda, the head of ZCCM, stressed the importance of this Community aid, which has made it possible for the company to handle its equipment and management problems. By early 1990, the Community had ploughed something like ECU 83 million into getting Zambian mining off the ground again.
The Community has always attached a lot of importance to agricultural development and it gives assistance with every aspect of food production and livestock throughout almost all the countrys nine provinces. And there have been projects too, often very large ones, such as the Maize Development Project (Kabwe, Centre Province) involving 35 000 km² and 30 000 smallholders.
The Community wants to develop vast areas and grow maize, the Zambians staple food, by improving the extension service, using draught animals and providing technical assistance and follow-up for the smallholders in this area.
The cost of this, ECU 13.154 million, is being covered by EDF (ECU 12.350 million) and the Zambian Government.
The Community is helping in the livestock sector too, with a financial contribution to a big (9070 hectare) dairy ranch in Batoka. The idea here is to improve both the farmers income and the diet of the rural population and it is working, as the scheme brought in ZK 3 213 246 (about $ 201000 at the official exchange rate in September 1989) for an outlay of ZK 1 515692 ($95000) in 1988. And there were expected to be similar developments in 1989, in spite of a fivefold increase in the price of inputs due mainly to inflation and the devaluation of the kwacha.
Other aspects of Community aid
Zambias external payments problem led the Community to speed up both commitments and financing, payments going up from ECU 21 million in 1987 to ECU 25.5 million in 1988. And about ECU 20 million have already been committed for the special import programme in 1990.
On the health front, Zambia will be getting about ECU 1.5 million of the ECU 35 million the Community is earmarking for AIDS control in the ACP States.
The Community as such is one of Zambias biggest providers of aid and is seen as such by the Zambian authorities. Figures for this aid are set out in the tables.
Summary of Community financing in Zambia (4th, 5th and 6th EDFs)
The 4th, 5th and 6th EDFs totalled ECU 191.4 million, divided as follows: 4th EDF ECU 45 100 million, 5th EDF ECU 58.00 million, 6th EDF ECU 88.3 million. The situation as of 23 March 1990 was as follows for the 5th and 6th Funds, the 4th being virtually closed.
5th EDF programmes and projects financing and 6th EDF programme and projects financing