The Bank of Zambia (BoZ), was established to take over from the Bank of Northern Rhodesia on the 7th of August 1964. This came about because of the impending independence of a new nation, Zambia, on the 24th of October the same year.
It is a central bank of Zambia. It acts as the government’s banker, maintaining fiscal policy and keeping the currency as stable as possible. Apart from the government itself, the central banks’ other customers are the commercial banks.
The Zambia central bank's Vision and Mission statements are as follows:
In colonial times, the Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, established in 1956, catered for the banking needs of Northern and Southern Rhodesia (Zambia and Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (Malawi). When the bank broke up as a result of the disintegration of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland on the 31st of December 1963, the Bank of Northern Rhodesia, the fore runner to BoZ, was created in its place. The Bank of Northern Rhodesia had all the powers of a central bank vested in it.
When the central bank was established in 1964, it soon underwent tremendous growth. The growth and expansion of the central bank lead to the development of bank premises like the head office in Lusaka which opened in 1975 and the regional office in Ndola which opened in 1979. New Buildings were later annexed to the Lusaka and Ndola buildings. The central bank acquired stakes in the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) and in the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO).
The Role of the bank was to maintain a stable macro-economic environment and the formulation and implementation of monetary policies. The institution is also in charge of responsibilities such as being the banker to the government, the issuer of currency, manager of foreign exchange reserves and controller of commercial banks liquidity.
Macro-economic management in Zambia has not been the same since the MMD government steered the economy towards a free market economy after a change of governments in 1991. Price controls were abolished, as were subsidies on all consumer goods.
The new government's priorities were the restoration of future economic growth and employment in the Zambian economy. Liberalising the economy and allowing market forces a greater role in the allocation of resources was to be the main means of achieving this.
Since 1992, the emphasis has been on creating a stable macro-economic environment as a key to a sustainable economic growth. Although the ultimate economic objective has remained the same, namely growth and employment, it is now generally accepted that investment and subsequently growth, is unlikely to take place if the economy remains characterized by macro-economic instability such as high inflation, shortage of foreign exchange and scarcities of commodities.
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