Zambia experiences country-wide power outage after system failure
A fault at Zambia’s Kariba North hydropower station Monday caused a blackout across most of Africa’s second largest copper producer and cut supplies to large parts of Zimbabwe.(Read more)
Zambia’s energy future is still very bright despite rare occurrences like this and ongoing ‘load shedding’ (to make up for a small deficit between power generation and consumption). There has been positive development on the power tariff front as they were raised for mining, residential and commercial users so that Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco) can generate more revenue to reinvest in generation and transmission. Private sector investment has also seen an uptick as a result – hydro and thermal projects in the works.
A lot more changes need to be made key to which is the part privatization of Zesco. Zambia National Commercial Bank (LuSE: ZANACO) is a model of how well this can work out. Selling 51% to a private buyer specialized in this sector and the rest being held by the public and government. Status quo leaves a lot to be desired – like CEOs being appointed by the President or Energy Minister and cost inefficiencies remaining unlocked.
The rest would eventually take care of itself because the private sector is better at efficiently allocating capital than the government.
April inflation remains unchanged as trade deficit widens
According the Central Statistical Office (CSO), April inflation remained unchanged at 7.2% from the previous month ending its streak of 4 straight months of decline. (Read more)
President Lungu ‘lifts’ civil service wage/employment freeze
ZAMBIA Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has welcomed Government’s move to lift the public service wage freeze which has been in force for more than one year. (Read more)
This is simply a campaign tactic to woo voters who were not happy with the wage freeze which ran from 2014 to 2016 as a result of the unbudgeted 2013 wage increments. It’s definitely not feasible to raise wages in 2015 but will certainly be used as a carrot prior to the 2016 general elections. Will the government have unlocked enough cost savings by then or will tax payers have to pay more? The 2016 budget speech in October of this year will give a clearer picture on that question.
T/bill auction 9 of 2015 undersubscribed as yields continue to rise
Thursday’s Treasury bill (T/bill) auction received K544 million in bids with K449 million being allocated.(Read more)
Zamtel launches ‘Tele Doctor’ service
Government plans to enact legislation to protect the confidentiality of patients. Community Development, Mother and Child Minister, Emmerine Kabanshi says patients have a right to confidentiality. Ms Kabanshi was speaking Wednesday when she launched the Teledoctor Service in Lusaka.(Read more)
Ikulileni investments plans $97 M share sale on LuSE
Ikulileni Investments Plc, which owns 11.9 percent of MTN Group Ltd.’s Zambian unit, plans a share sale that would value the company at as much as $97 million.(Read more)
Trying to decipher this puzzle that is Zambia by using a variety of publicly available data (structured and unstructured) in conjunction with my own skill/experience. * * *