Zambian Government preliminary estimates for 2012 are that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 7.3% compared with 6.8% in 2011.
...growth not inclusive enough to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequalities on a sustainable basis
This spectacular economic growth trend has not translated into relative gains in employment, income, poverty reduction and gender equality. Zambia still remains a least developed country (LDC) as defined by the United Nations and ranks number 163 out of 185 countries in terms of Human Development. Poverty is still high (60.5%, 2010 CSO) especially in rural areas (77.9%, 2010 CSO).
High levels of unemployment especially among youth overshadow the gains made from strong growth and limited inflation. One of the reasons for this is that much of the economic growth has taken place in a few mechanised sectors, for example the mining sector - thanks to the booming copper prices. Little attention and investment has trickled into job rich sectors for example agriculture, tourism, tourism, and construction. Unemployment nationally as at 2008 stood at 16% of the labour force.