The study examines Zambia’s evolving aid relationship in relation to the country’s democratic trajectory. The impact of aid in terms of democratic consolidation is linked to the development of the party system, the efficacy of key democratic institutions, and accountability in relation to tolerance of participation by the media and civil society in the political process. The study suggests that there are many good reasons for so-called traditional donors to phase out aid to Zambia. Zambia has recorded economic growth for the most part of this decade, but poverty levels still stand at near 70 per cent and both equity issues and poor human development indicators provide reasons for concern. The study cautions against an aid exit at a time when economic growth and new foreign partners may strengthen the executive office vis-à-vis civil society, opposition and agencies of restraint. The study argues for an enhanced emphasis on democracy assistance that may strengthen stakeholders and institutions with capacity to hold the executive to account for their policy actions in terms of development.
Rakner, L. Foreign Aid and Democratic Consolidation in Zambia. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2012) 29 pp. ISBN 978-92-9230-479-9 [Working Paper No. 2012/16]