Zambia’s Lungu says to cut spending, boost growth

President Edgar Lungu was re-elected to the helm of Africa’s second-largest copper producer.

FILE: Zambian President Edgar Lungu (left). Picture: AFP.

LUSAKA - Zambia will control expenditure and take measures to boost economic growth, President Edgar Lungu who was re-elected to the helm of Africa's second-largest copper producer at a vote on 11 August, said on Thursday.

"I have five years now which is sufficient time to take more decisive action. I will take measures to grow the economy and control expenditure," Lungu said in a statement after a meeting with business leaders.

The recent election was fought around the issues of rising unemployment, mine closures, power shortages and soaring food prices which Hichilema, an economist and businessman, blamed on Lungu's mismanagement.

But Lungu, whose government has been talking to the International Monetary Fund about financial aid to help plug its budget deficit, said he was doing his best to wean the economy off its over-reliance on copper.