Zambia sees Zimbabwe’s economic missteps as South Africa looks to repeat them.
Marian Tupy writes:
Two weeks ago I wrote about the plight of Zimbabwe following Robert Mugabe’s expropriation of commercial farms and the economic meltdown that followed. I also noted that the South African government was thinking about introducing a similar, and equally self-defeating, policy in South Africa. While South Africa remains in the clutches of self-declared communists, who appear to have no understanding of the importance of property rights, Zambia has learned appropriate lessons from its past flirtation with socialism.
Between 1964 and 1991, Zambia was run by Kenneth Kaunda, a socialist who nationalized much of the economy—with predictable consequences. During his time in office, Zambian GDP per person shrunk by 34 percent. In relatively well-run Botswana next door, it rose by 786 percent. Since the early 1990s, however, Zambia has grown much more politically and economically free. The economy rebounded. Since Kaunda left office, Zambian incomes have risen by 65 percent—almost double the world average.