As Zambia celebrates 50 years of independence, there is much focus on whether the economy has made sufficient strides to meaningfully improve the lives of its citizens.
This year's Golden Jubilee Budget theme, Celebrating our Golden Jubilee as One Zambia One Nation by Making Economic Independence a Reality for All, looks to address this by focusing on economic developments that will facilitate prosperity for all Zambians.
The Patriotic Front government has in its last three Budgets pledged to deliver on its election promises to increase employment, provide social infrastructure development and ensure equitable distribution of Zambia's mineral wealth.
In his speech, the Minister of Finance acknowledges that Zambia has various developmental challenges to overcome as it enters its sixth decade. Poverty levels stand at 60%, while a very young population is putting increasing pressure on a limited job market.
The economy also faces headwinds in the form of a subdued global economy, and lower copper and agricultural commodity prices. Copper prices were on average 10% lower at US$7,097 per tonne during the first nine months of 2014 compared to 2013.