Zambia is blessed with copper, cobalt and other mineral resources. However, in order to reduce its economic dependency on the mineral industry, the country has long had a development policy of economic diversification.

In recent years, domestic and foreign demand for non-mineral products has expanded within Zambia and in nearby countries. It has also been observed that the amount of trade has increased. These developments may be attributed to positive economic growth being experienced in the region. Both of these developments also point to the fact that economic diversification has begun.

However, there are indications sustained development could be a challenge if some important pre-conditions for development are not addressed. For example, traffic networks, electrical power and other elements of the economic infrastructure required for industrial development are in a weak state. Moreover, the social infrastructure such as education, health services, and facilities for water supply and sanitation are not fully developed. In view of the foregoing, the poverty rate remains high; and this is particularly more pronounced in rural farming areas.

In line with the Government of Zambia's development strategies, the Japanese Government sets its overall goal of "Promoting Sustainable Growth of a Diversified Economy Freed from Overdependence on Mining".

In accordance with this policy, JICA sets two priority areas for its operation: 1) Vitalization of Industries, and 2) Improvement and Enhancement of Basic Infrastructure for Economic Activities. Under these priority areas, JICA mobilizes all the assistance schemes to work towards the above-stated development objective, while fully respecting ownership of the Government of Zambia.

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