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Socio-economic change and natural resource exploitation: a case study of the Zambian copper mining industry


  • John Lungu


The privatisation of Zambia's copper mines has paved the way for increased levels of foreign direct investment in the economy. The incentives provided to the mining companies have been very attractive to investors. However, the weakness of the Zambian state is clearly demonstrated in the development agreements it signed with the mining companies at the expense of the welfare of the Copperbelt communities. The major outcome of privatisation has been a considerable loss in welfare as the new mining companies have been following to the letter the terms of the development agreements. Despite the upturn of copper prices on the international market, the mining companies have continued to provide reduced services to the communities, compelling civil society to pressure the government to renegotiate the agreements.

Suggested Citation

  • John Lungu, 2008. "Socio-economic change and natural resource exploitation: a case study of the Zambian copper mining industry," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(5), pages 543-560.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:25:y:2008:i:5:p:543-560
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350802447719

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