Kaunda announces nationalisation of Copper mines
Date: 10 August, 1969
Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda announces nationalisation of copper mining companies, key to Zambia's economy contributing over 50 percent of government revenue. The nationalisation of Zambian copper mines was in line with an overall economic policy of nationalisation based on socialist principles. This policy gave the Zambian government the powers to use revenues collected from these mines to substantially reduce prices of basic food products.
Kaunda's socialist policies failed to improve the economy of Zambia and when copper prices collapsed in the mid seventies, the Zambian economy began to decline. The government borrowed money from the International Monetary fund (IMF) to maintain lower prices of basic foodstuffs. In 1985, the IMF put pressure on the Zambian government to restructure the economy and abandon socialist economic policies. As a result, the government adopted the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP). These programmes were blamed for causing Zambia's economic decline. Finally, Kenneth Kaunda was forced to hand over power to a democratically elected government in 1990, which continued with IMF economic policies with the hope that this would improve the Zambian economy.