Zambia. During a visit to China in February, President Rupiah Banda signed an agreement with his counterpart Hu Jintao on far-reaching cooperation on geological studies and mineral extraction in Zambia. There was no mention of how much the deal was worth, but China has already invested multibillion in the country, mainly in the mining industry. At the same time, agreements were concluded on Chinese investments in road construction, construction of an industrial zone and economic, technical and cultural cooperation.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Zambia population has a population of 17.35 million (2018). The opposition in Zambia is less enthusiastic about the large Chinese presence and accuses the Chinese companies of ruthless exploitation of Zambian workers. The opposition got water on its mill when Chinese bosses opened fire at a coal mine against workers who protested against poor working conditions. Twelve people were shot.
Mineral exports account for a large part of the country’s income. During the year, 720,000 tonnes of copper were exported, which is said to be the highest figure in 37 years.
The world’s confidence in the current authorities’ sincerity in the fight against corruption is weak. The Global Fund for the Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – whose money comes mainly from the US, EU and Japan – contained planned aid to Zambia’s health sector due to concerns over corruption. The EU froze money allocated for road construction in Zambia. Sweden stopped some of its support in 2009, but received SEK 6.7 million during the year, corresponding to the sum that had been embezzled.
In particular, the United States has fiercely criticized Zambia after a court rejected a British demand that former President Frederick Chiluba pay back the equivalent of $ 46 million to the Zambian state. A British court found him guilty in 2007 of gross misappropriation of state funds. But the Zambia High Court closed the case on the grounds that a British judgment has no validity under Zambian law. When the government refrained from appealing the court decision, spokesmen for the United States commented that Zambia missed a golden opportunity to prove good governance.
The 2009 sentence of 3.5 years in prison for Chiluba’s wife Regina was revoked by a higher court. The High Court considered that it could not be proven that she purchased private property for state money.