The economy of Zambia is closely linked with that of Rhodesia in several highly important respect.
The economy of Zambia is closely linked with that of Rhodesia in several highly important respect. These links date from the time when the two countries were members of the same Federation, or even earlier.
This fact poses special problems for Zambia of Rhodesia makes a unilateral declaration of independence, and Zambia, as a result, wishes, or is urged, to join in economic sanctions against Rhodesia. For Rhodesia could reply with measure that would severely hit the Zambian economy; though the Rhodesian government has assured Zambia that it will not take the initiative in any moves against Zambia, but would act only under provocation.
The mainstay of Zambia's economy is copper mining. Zambia's copper-belt produces about six hundred thousand tons a year, some 15 per cent of the world's copper output, and provides about nine-tenths of the country's export earnings.
But the mining machinery and production processes need electric power and coal; and for both Zambia is dependent to a substantial extent on Rhodesia. Nearly half the electric power used in Zambia's mines comes from the Kariba Dam hydro-electric system. This is jointly owned by the Rhodesian and Zambian governments, and its output shared by international agreement; but the generators so far completed and in action are on the Rhodesian side of the Zambesi River. Most of the coal of the quality required for smelting Zambia's copper comes form the Wankie coalmines in Rhodesia. And the new oil refinery at Umtali, also in Rhodesia supplies most of the fuel oil and petroleum products that Zambia needs.
Zambia depends on Rhodesia, too, for transport to get her copper away to the ports. The main railway line from the copper belt runs through Rhodesia to Beira in Mozambique. The is another railway outlet westwards through the Congo and Angola, but is estimated that this could not handle more than about a fifth of the present output from the copper mines. There are plans for yet another railway outlet, through Tanzania, but this has not got beyond the stage of financial discussions.
Film shows the Rhokana and Mufulira copper mines; the Kariba Dam and electrical installations; the Wankie colliery and Umtali oil refinery in Rhodesia; the main railway system at Ndola and the line westwards through Angola; and President Kaunda's visit to Tanzania for talks about the projected new railway.