Zambia takes fiscal stock

LUSAKA - Spurred by its unprecedented economic boom, Zambia is due to launch its first economic census in June, reports said yesterday.

LUSAKA - Spurred by its unprecedented economic boom, Zambia is due to launch its first economic census in June, reports said yesterday.

It will cover the entire economic spectrum of the country's 72 districts.

The economic census is expected to provide accurate and requisite data to planners, policy makers and prospective investors in Zambia's buoyant economy.

The acting director of the central statistical office, Afreda Chulu, said the economic census would provide a detailed portrait of the national economy at national and local levels to measure all economic activities for the 2006 and 2007 calendar years.

The data collection will focus on agriculture, mining, construction, financial intermediaries, education, health, religious institutions, NGOs and the public sector, local and central governments.

Chulu said the census would also include "many firsts, such as the measurement of the output of new industries, like mobile phones, internet providers, computers, market stalls and small-scale business owners in the informal sectors".

Finance Minister Ng'andu Magande said the current increased economic activity had contributed to the appreciation of Zambia's currency, the kwacha.

He said international donor confidence in the fiscal and macro-economic policies of the government had generated interest in offshore banking that had heavily snapped up government bonds. - Sapa-DPA

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