Enabling Pro-Poor Management of Zambia’s Mineral Wealth

Key Contact
Patricio V. Marquez
Start Date
End Date
Funding Amount
$ 49,968
Knowledge-providing Countries
Knowledge-receiving Countries


Zambia faced challenges managing its natural resource wealth, especially from copper mining, in ways that reduce poverty; diversify the economy; and improve education, health, and livelihoods of Zambian citizens. Chile, another major copper pro­ducer, had a track record in supporting fiscal policies and programs that support sound management of mineral revenue, and health, education, and social protection initiatives for the poor. Through an ex­change with Chile, officials from Zambia’s Ministry of Finance, sector ministries, and key agencies sought to identify and develop new approaches, policies, and programs that could ensure the pro-poor man­agement of Zambia’s mineral wealth.

What has happened so far?

In June 2013, Chilean officials visited Lusaka to meet with officials from the Ministry of Finance and vari­ous public, private, and civil society organizations to understand Zambia’s challenges and plan a study tour to Chile. For a week in January 2014, a Zambian delegation travelled to Santiago and Rancagua to meet with officials from Chilean ministries and other institutions to learn about Chile’s approaches for managing mineral wealth such as through a Stabi­lization Fund to guard against volatility in copper prices, integrated planning and budgeting systems, and a mechanism to share mineral royalties with lo­cal communities. Delegates explored options for di­versifying the economy, such as investing in agricul­ture and fisheries, and learned about Chile’s national strategy for developing skilled workers. Delegates gained insights into Chile’s programs and strategies for improving social protection, including its use of a unified registry of beneficiaries. They were particu­larly impressed with how Chile, through the private foundation Fundación Chile, had fostered dialogue and trust between the public sector and mining companies to support innovative solutions to accel­erate economic growth. The delegation also visited and learned about the El Teniente mine, the largest copper mine in the world.

What results have been achieved?

After the exchange, Zambian officials developed an action plan to identify “quick wins” in reform­ing fiscal policies and health, education, and social protection initiatives. Dr. Roland Msiska, Secretary to the Cabinet in Zambia, concluded that the exchange was “a tremendous learning opportunity, and I ap­preciate the Bank’s convening and connecting role that no amount of financing can substitute.” Other results achieved from the exchange include:

• Zambia’s Minister of Finance announced creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund to better manage mineral wealth and protect against shocks in copper prices.
• The Zambian Government took steps to improve and better coordinate social protection pro­grams, including development of a unified regis­try of beneficiaries and a management informa­tion system. Zambian officials have committed to use this unified beneficiary registry in a proposed Women Empowerment Program funded by the World Bank.
• Inspired by Chile, Zambian officials have expressed interest in participating in a World Bank-facilitated dialogue to foster trust with mining companies on key issues.