Major Reasons Why Even After so Many Years of Independence, Development Is Still a Challenge for a Country Like Zambia.

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In this assignment, the discussion will be centred on the major reasons why even after so many years of independence, development is still a challenge for a country like Zambia. I would start by defining the word “development.”

The concept Development may mean a lot of things to an individual and to the government. It may mean improving, expanding, enlarging, advancing or progressing the society. Economically speaking, Todaro and Smith (2003) states that traditionally it meant the capacity of a national economy, whose initial economic condition has been more or less static for a long time, to generate and sustain an annual increase in its Gross National Product (GNP) at rates of perhaps 5% to 8% or more.

In economic terms Development as described by the IMF journal “Economic Outlook” (1997) states that, “the questions to ask about a country’s development are: what has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? If all the three have declined from high levels, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country concerned. If one or two of these central problems have been growing worse especially if the entire three have it would be strange to call the result “development” even if per capital income doubled.

Todaro and Smith (2003) defined development as a “multidimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes and national institutions, as well as acceleration in economic growth, the reduction of inequality and the eradication of poverty.”

Dudley seers stated that development involves creating conditions necessary for full realisation of human conditions necessary for full realisation of human potential. According to him, an evaluation of development must take into account that three interrelated processes in a growing economy i.e. reduction in poverty, reduction in unemployment and reduction in inequality takes place. Seers contends that if any of these persist amidst wealth creation then it would be strange to call what ever process that leads to that process of accumulation as development.

As has been recorded, it can be seen that development cuts across all areas of human life, it points out that development is not a commodity that can either be weighed or measured by the Gross National Product (GNP).

The term Development also stems from the core values of development. According to the World Bank report of 1991, it brings out three basic components that serve as a conceptional basis and practical guidance for understanding the inner meaning of development. These basics define development as the sustain elevation of an entire society and social system towards a better life. These values according to Tony Kllic K. (1976) are sustenance, self esteem and freedom. According to him sustenance is all about people having certain basic needs without which life would be impossible. These life-sustaining basic human needs include food, shelter, health and protection.

In my own understanding, development is still a challenge for a country like Zambia because of a number of factors. Firstly, Zambia as a nation still views development as a challenge because of lack of empowerment from the time the country just attained independence. According to Frik de Beer (2000), “Empowerment must be ‘bottom-up’ process; in other words people must take empowerment. But this taking of empowerment is still a process that it has to be carried out by participation. The efforts to separate development from politics is simply impossible to reaslise, so, the role of the government is to create the enabling environment for the community to participate in the matter affecting their lives and indeed participating in developmental programmes. In the first twenty years after independence, Zambia’s economic activities depended so much on mining and people depended on “white...
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