Zambia’s external debt has been on the rise in the past few years. According to the Ministry of Finance data, Zambia’s domestic debt stock in terms of securities and bonds rose to K60.3billion as at June 2019 compared to K15.1 billion in 2011. Against this back drop and even more alarming over the years is the component of external debt that rose from US$3.2 billion in 2011 to $10.23 billion as at the end of June 2019. The current debt-to-GDP ratio thus stands at over 50% of GDP. Cognizant of the burgeoning public debt, its negative implications and the need for its prudent management, Government put in place the 2017-2019 Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS). One of the intents of the strategy was to reduce the rate of accumulation of foreign denominated debt. But what the country has witnessed over the years is rising external debt contraction and the corresponding increase in interest payments. In view of this state of affairs, the 2017 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) indicated that Zambia was at high risk of debt distress.
It is therefore very surprising and saddening that on Monday 13th January 2020, the Zambia Daily Mail carried a headline titled “Borrowing is Beneficial..” citing the 2020 World Bank Global Prospects report without highlighting the risks that come with borrowing. These risks that the World Bank highlighted in its report are the major concerns of most critiques of Zambia’s borrowing including JCTR. We therefore note with concern that such publicity has the potential to be detrimental to the calls for the prudent financial management of public resources. The JCTR wishes to therefore emphasise that the World Bank report should not be misconstrued to mean borrowing has no limits. Evidence both globally and domestically indicates that rising debt can be detrimental to the national economy. ReadMore
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When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to them as well. (Matthew 5:39)
Let us Pray and Fast
As the National Day of Prayer and Fasting draws near, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection wishes to call the whole nation to reflect on the culture of political violence that has taken root in Zambia. The JCTR joins in the sorrow of the family of Lawrence Banda who died in the unnecessary political violence in Kaoma Local government Elections. It further condemns political violence in all its forms and regardless of the perpetrator, and at the same time, reiterates that this wanton loss of life could have been avoided had the late not been ferried to Kaoma where he was not eligible to vote.
Cause of political violence – ferrying of political cadres and poverty
The fact that the deceased comes from a high density, low income residential suburb should be food for thought, for it can be a demonstration that political leaders exploit the vulnerable unemployed youth whom they use as fodder for their political canons. ReadMore
POLITICAL VIOLENCE NEGATING HUMAN DIGNITY
When did it become a norm to lose young lives in electoral violence? Violence that can be avoided. While people would say that a mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people, in Zambia, it is the manifestation of Zambian Christianity. It is sad that a nation that proudly announces itself a Christian one should have images characteristic of a nation at WAR. The images of law enforcers in battle dress show that Zambians do not acknowledge the moral authority of the bible for it is difficult to imagine a true Christian who is ready to inflict pain on their neighbor. The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection is appalled by this betrayal of Christian values and condemns the electoral violence that has not only hit Kaoma but has become part of Zambian political culture.
EQUAL REPRESENTATION IN POLICY FORMULATION AND DECISION MAKING
It is unfortunate that despite evidence that women can lead, there is still minimal presence of women in decision making positions. In Africa this can be attributed to cultures that have long treated women as chattels. This has been aggravated by religions such as Islam and contemporary Christianity that emphasize the secondary or helper role of women who should not challenge the authority of men, whom churches sanctimoniously declare as head, when it comes to leadership. The deliberate perpetuation of this can be seen in Zambia by the current spirituality that has emphasized chupo (marriage) and ubufyashi (fertility) at the expense of career development for women. READ MORE
JCTR has launched a new Strategic Plan 2020 - 2023
The JCTR has launched a new strategic plan (For the period 2020-2023)
One that seeks to respond to current economic and social, and even political environment of the country. We are also scaling up our work in the environmental space, with climate change affecting us more and more each day. The launch of the Strategic Plan was held together with partners, donors, supporters and some of our Board of Trustees present.
The Launch allowed us to share our Vision, Mission and new direction for the coming years, and allow for the opportunity for our partners and donors to identify the many ways of collaboration going forward. Out Goal is to contribute to the achievement of Improved Quality of Life for the Poor and Marginalised. This will be through our two programme units; The Social and Economic Development and The Faith and Justice units. Get a copy of our Strategic Plan by Clicking here
Latest JCTR Documents
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A short video on our work in North-Western province. Holding a dialogue meeting, we addressed issues of the role of Multi-National Corporations in the development of communities in which they operate, and the role of Government and Local authorities in development.
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