At independence Zambia inherited a strong mining-based economy. It deteriorated in the mid 1970s following a sharp decline in copper prices compounded by the oil shock. This resulted in increased foreign borrowing and declining living standards. To reverse this trend, the country embarked on an import substitution industrialization strategy.
Since 1991 when the Zambian economy was liberalized, a number of business opportunities presented themselves. Owing to the policies that the Government introduced in the early 1090s, the private sector has been the driving engine of the Zambian economy. There are a lot of business opportunities including in the Information Communication Technology (ITC) sector. The government policies place a lot of emphasis on the need for access to various forms of ICT in order to promote economic information that lead to poverty reduction. The Government has formulated a policy that encourages private investment in the ICT sector. It is against this background that MCT was formed in order to provide affordable access to both low income and high-income households and the economic drivers at large.
The Zambian Government embarked on wide range of economic reforms which were aimed at promoting developing the private sector as a tool to national development. Following the policy reorientation in 1991, national economic planning was discredited and consequently the institution that was entrusted with the responsibility of cenral planning was abolished in 1996. However, after lessons of absence of planning and weakened national development programs, development planning was reintroduced in 2002. Currently Zambia completed the implementation of the fifth National Development Plan 2006 2010.
The performance of the Zambian economy considerably improved from 2002 to 2005 which was the period of implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and Transitional National Development Plan (TNDP). The real GDP growth averaged 4.7 percent per year, up from an annual average of 2.2 percent in the preceding four years. This growth exceeded 4 percent target which identified in the PRSP/TNDP, thus representing a marked reversal of the economic stagnation experienced during the 1990s. The per capital income also grew at 2.3 percent annually. Zambia’s positive growth was attributed to several factors including favorable global economic conditions that the overall impact of the economic reforms that started in the early 1990s. The rapid expansion of mining and construction were the key drivers of growth during the period. The renewed expansion of the mining sector was as a result of recapitalization and new investments following the privatization of state-owned mines and the buoyant world commodity markets. The construction sector also recorded rapid growth as a result of private construction activities, especially in residential housing in the main urban centers and I facilitating mining sector investments.