Inward foreign investment into Zambia increased significantly in 2011, arresting a downward trend that followed the 2008 financial crisis. In 2011 there were record levels of FDI into the country, with 26 investments made and more than $2.3bn invested. This led to the creation of more than 10,000 jobs. When compared with 2010 data, the number of investments increased by 86%, the level of capital investment increased by 74%, and the number of jobs created increased by 273%.
Prior to this apparent recovery, Zambia experienced two consecutive years – 2009 and 2010 – where the levels of investment and number of jobs created as a result of FDI decreased compared to the preceding year.
It is too early to make any concrete judgements on the basis of 2012 data, as only three months' data are available at the time of writing, but Celeste Fauconnier, an analyst from the South Africa-based Rand Merchant Bank Africa, believes that this upward trend will continue. Speaking at the First National Bank economic outlook meeting in Lusaka in early May, Ms Fauconnier attributed this assertion to the efforts made by the Zambian government to make the country more attractive to potential investors.
Much of this increase in 2011 can be explained by large-scale investments in the metals sector, with eight investments in this sector creating more than 6500 jobs and garnering $1.8bn in investments.