Zambia is facing the challenging issue of its currency, the Kwacha, undergoing devaluation, which has had a significant negative impact on the country’s economic growth and development.
In an effort to address this problem, the Zambian government has recently announced the implementation of an Export Proceeds Tracking Framework, scheduled to begin on January 1, 2024.
While this framework shows promise in reversing the devaluation of the Kwacha, it is essential to adopt a holistic approach that takes into account and manages various other factors that influence market liquidity.
This article delves into the potential mechanisms for addressing the Kwacha devaluation through the Export Proceeds Tracking Framework, emphasizing the importance of effectively managing monetary and fiscal policy tools and ensuring clear communication and education for all stakeholders.
Understanding the Export Proceeds Tracking Framework:
The Export Proceeds Tracking Framework mandates that all exporters must funnel their earnings through a Zambian bank.
This centralized system aims to promote transparency, generate accurate balance of payments data, and contribute to efficient economic planning and policy formulation.
By centralizing export earnings, the framework can strengthen foreign exchange reserves, foster financial stability, and provide the central bank with an additional tool to effectively implement monetary policy.
Consideration of Monetary Policy Tools:
To successfully implement and reap the benefits of sustainable economic growth and development through the Export Proceeds Tracking Framework, it is crucial to carefully consider and adjust various monetary policy tools. The following tools require meticulous management:
1. Open Market Operations: The central bank must assess the impact of open market operations on the money supply and make necessary adjustments to securities in order to maintain liquidity.
2. Reserve Requirements: The minimum reserve requirement should be reviewed to ensure that banks have sufficient liquidity to support lending and investment activities.
3. Discount Window Lending: The central bank should closely monitor and adjust the discount rate to manage liquidity and ensure financial stability.
4. Interest Rate Policy: Monitoring and adjusting interest rates are indispensable in controlling borrowing and lending costs and maintaining a sound economic environment.
5. Foreign Exchange Interventions: The central bank may need to intervene in foreign exchange markets by purchasing or selling domestic currency to stabilize the Kwacha.
6. Liquidity Facilities: Given the potential for capital flight and market volatility, the central bank should establish and manage liquidity facilities to address temporary liquidity needs of financial institutions.
Incorporating Fiscal Policy Tools:
In order to ensure a successful implementation and harness the benefits of sustainable economic growth and development through the Export Proceeds Tracking Framework, it is vital to consider and adapt various fiscal policy tools. The careful management of the following tools is paramount:
1. Government Expenditure and Investment: The government should prioritize strategic expenditure and investment in sectors that promote economic diversification, export competitiveness, and job creation. This will stimulate economic growth and enhance the effectiveness of the framework.
2. Taxation Policies: The government should review and streamline tax policies to incentivize exporters and encourage compliance. Striking a harmonious balance between tax rates and revenue generation is crucial, ensuring a business-friendly environment while maintaining sufficient resources for public welfare and infrastructure development.
3. Public Debt Management: Effective management of public debt is essential to maintain fiscal sustainability. The government should assess its debt levels, borrowing costs, and repayment capacity to ensure that debt remains manageable and does not jeopardize the benefits of the Export Proceeds Tracking Framework.
4. Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs): Encouraging PPPs can attract private investment, leverage expertise, and enhance the implementation of infrastructure projects. The government should foster an enabling environment for PPPs, facilitating collaboration between the public and private sectors to drive economic growth and development.
Sensitization, Education, and Communication:
The successful implementation of the Export Proceeds Tracking Framework hinges on effective sensitization, education, and communication with the public and stakeholders.
The government and central bank must communicate the objectives, benefits, and processes of the framework clearly to garner support and ensure compliance.
Raising awareness and understanding amongst stakeholders will ensure a smooth implementation and encourage positive market reactions, ultimately contributing to a stable currency and sustainable economic growth.
Zambia’s Export Proceeds Tracking Framework presents a promising mechanism for reversing the devaluation of the Kwacha and achieving economic stability.
To navigate the implementation process effectively, it is vital to manage and adjust various monetary and fiscal policy tools to support liquidity and encourage sustainable economic growth.
Taking into account factors such as open market operations, reserve requirements, discount window lending, interest rate policy, foreign exchange interventions, government expenditure and investment, taxation policies, public debt management, and liquidity facilities will be imperative.
Additionally, sensitization, education, and communication will play a critical role in garnering support and maximizing the benefits of the framework.
Michelle heads the Institute of Research Analysis (TIRA)
With over 12 years of professional experience in public policy advisory and 22 years in finance, Michelle is a highly motivated, experienced individual with a strong background in public policy, quantitative methods, project management and various experiences in the financial industry.
A World Bank Group (WBG) Consultant, she is talented in leading and developing teams to accomplish strategy-critical goals.
Under a Presidential appointment and MOU with the government of Zambia, she ran a public policy think tank which she founded, providing the needed public policy support to Cabinet Office and the Office of the Vice President.
Skilled in identifying problems and recommending practical solutions. She possesses the ability to effectively communicate technical and complex issues.
She has an excellent background working with international institutions and businesses. She is multilingual.
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