Youth perceptions of the role of copper mining in development on the Zambian copperbelt.
Copper is the mainstay of the Zambian economy. From the inception of mining activities in the 1920s, it has accounted for the majority of the country‟s exports and foreign earnings. However, most people are of the view that its contribution to development programmes is disproportionate, well below their expectations. They attribute the contemporary failure to copper price volatility, international market forces, ownership, government ineptitude and the consequences of neoliberalism. Given the large expense involved in establishing and running copper mines, the country depends heavily on foreign capital. A big proportion of the copper that is mined in Zambia is sold in an unprocessed state denying the country additional revenue. This study assesses both the role of copper mining in the economic history of Zambia and its role in contemporary development as perceived and understood by current university-educated job market entrants on the Zambian Copperbelt, their educators and other commentators with work experience in the sector.