Zambia’s Cost of Living “out of reach of many”, Jesuit Scholars Say as Currency Stabilizes

Zambia Kwacha (ZMW). Credit: Courtesy Photo

Jesuit scholars in Zambia have said that while the country’s currency has generally stabilized, the cost of living remains “out of the reach of many” in the Southern African nation.

In their Monday, May 16 Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) statement outlining the cost of living for April 2022, officials of the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR) officials say the total food costs for last month have decreased by a larger margin in comparison to the non-food cost.

JCTR officials add that the Zambian Kwacha, which was under immense pressure in 2020, given a weakening macroeconomic environment worsened by the COVID 19 pandemic, has broadly stabilized in 2022.

“We commend the government for this achievement,” they say. 

The Jesuit scholars however regret the fact the cost of living has remained “out of the reach of many households that continue to compromise their standards of living given this state of affairs.”


In their May 16 statement, JCTR officials offer a number of recommendations that, if implemented, can support Zambian households that are struggling. 

First, they say the Bank of Zambia needs to sustain efforts aimed at stabilizing the key macroeconomic variables such as the exchange rate. 

Secondly, officials of the Zambia-based Jesuit entity recommend that the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, “should continue to facilitate abundance of both local and imported produce (in cases where we cannot produce) on the market as this has implications on food prices.”

In the case of locally produced products, the Jesuit scholars say the government needs to ensure linkage to markets in this harvest period and also reduce fertilizer prices. 

They further say that the Zambian government needs to ensure the timely delivery of agricultural inputs in the next farming season as food security remains critical for the Southern African nation.

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Thirdly, they recommend that the Zambian government expedites “the finalization of recruitment of teachers and health professionals as an income support measure for the many households that are struggling to meet the high cost of living.”

By consistently implementing the proposed recommendations, JCTR officials say, the conditions of the marginalized, vulnerable and the poor Zambians will be uplifted.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.