The Crunch… African Style

I know you are all probably quite sick to death of hearing about the credit crunch, I certainly was back home but it is quite interesting to view it from a somewhat different perspective down here.

At the start of the whole credit squeeze I seem to remember that the most commonly heard thinking was that there was finally a silver lining to the cloud that is Africa’s financial obscurity – the continent was so unconnected from the global credit merry go round to have gained little and so would loose little from it all grinding to a halt.

That happy piece of analysis seems to have missed the impact of a massive global slowdown on prices for the one thing this continent still relies upon … commodities! You only get a sense of the scale of that dependency when you realise that over 90% of Zambia’s exports are still accounted for by copper! Why this is still the case after decades of development will have to be the subject of another posting.

The problems are further compounded in a country without any meaningful form of social security – when your mine and your job shut up shop, then so too does your school, your clinic, your social club and so on…

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