Sustaining life : a theological vision for the diversification of the copperbelt's economy.
Kangale, Christopher Chabu.
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Since independence in 1964, Zambia in general and the Copperbelt Province in particular have largely depended on the mono-economy based on copper mining. Around the 1970s the copper prices started falling causing the mining industry to collapse leading to economic stagnation. Efforts to revive the economy, such as the Structural Adjustment Programme implemented since the late 1980s have not brought about well-being for the people of the Copperbelt. As a result the government of the Republic of Zambia decided to launch an economic diversification programme for the Copperbelt province whose main aim is to seek and implement alternative economic activities that would accelerate economic growth thereby improving people's living conditions on the Copperbelt. This thesis proposes that in order to overcome poverty and improve people's living conditions, we need to shift our policy and practice from free market economic growth centred approaches, to shalom. The shift is based on the argument that development seen through the lenses of free market economic growth alone has not sustained life; instead it has contributed to environmental degradation and poverty creation in Zambia and the Copperbelt Province in particular. The thesis argues that shalom is an authentic development paradigm. This argument is based on three fundamental integral parts of shalom namely creation, people and justice. In order to bring about comprehensive well-being for people there is a need to a) appreciate creation as a phenomenon with its own integrity. It should not be destroyed for selfish economic ends; b) give pre-eminence to people as free agents who could participate in creating their own destiny based on their capacities and social conditionalities; and c) ensure social justice as a necessary condition for human relations and economic dispensation.
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