The ‘Africa rising’ narrative sparked a lively discussion of the powers of orthodox economic policies to ensure good economic governance and attract private investments to further stimulate economic growth. The 2014 commodity bust and the Covid-19 pandemic effectively ended this discussion and triggered a critical examination of the fundamentals of the narrative. This study investigates how orthodox economic policies have affected the strive for structural transformation in a resource-rich economy like Zambia. It argues that there is a mismatch between the mostly orthodox policies that have driven policy formulation and the needs of the domestic private sector. Therefore, it makes a case for setting domestic market formation as a guiding principle for future economic policies, specifically by focusing industrial policy on business climate, rather than investment climate, and by focusing on capacity building, upgrading, and growth in consumer and inter-sectoral demand, rather than only liberalisation and good economic governance.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 10 Nov 2021.
- Africa rising
- Domestic market formation
- Industrial policy
- Private sector