This essay aims to define what development is and to answer the question on whether if Zambia is developing in accordance with Dudley Seers. This will be done in two phases by first defining what development means with the aid of various definitions and dimensions while the second phase to point out on whether Zambia is developing by referring to a reduction in poverty, a reduction in unemployment and a reduction in inequality as key points of reference. The term development is said to be complex due to the many different and sometimes contentious definitions.
In some instances development can be said to be a social and economic process of change which leads to a desirable state or outcome which is beneficial to the people of a given society. It is also commonly understood as a complex, gradual, and continuous process that has both qualitative and quantitative aspects. Development must therefore be conceived as “a multidimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes, and national institutions, as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality, and the eradication of poverty’ (Todaro and Smith, 2003:16).
If further broken down it can be highlighted that social structures are patterned social arrangements in society that are determined and emerge from the actions of individuals, while popular attitudes are basically a settled way a mass population thinks or feels which is reflected in their behaviour and national institutions are structures that have a mechanism of social order which are governed by norms, rules of conduct and a general accepted way of doing things.
Economic growth can be defined as a sustained increase and expansion in the production capacity of a given economy, while inequality refers to a situation in hich individuals or individual groups do not have equal social class, social status and social circle and poverty though which has many definitions can be simply defined as a lack of essential items such as food, clothing, water and shelter. “The concept of development is neither new nor old.
Development is a continuously changing and dynamic concept” (Sapru, 1994:4). This basically implies it has and continues to take different shapes and dimensions over a period of time. These dimensions may include social, economic, political, and administrative and so on. According to Colm and Geiger cited by Sapru(1994), “development means change plus rowth”. All Colm and Geiger simply meant is that it’s only through economic growth that changes in society will be brought about.
According to Amartya Sen cited by Todaro and Smith (2003), “development has to be more concerned with enhancing the lives we lead and the freedoms we enjoy’. In other words the purpose of development is to create an environment in which all people can expand their capabilities, and opportunities can be enlarged for both present and future generations which lead to a life of sustained freedoms. Furthermore Weidner and T. N.
Chaturvedi are cited by Sapru (1994), respectively as development being a process f growth “in the direction of modernity and particularly in the direction of nation- building and socio-economic progress” and a process which stands for the “transtormation ot society’ Elaborating turtner on Weidner’s definition by gr the direction of modernity’ it points out to technological advancements and implementing new policies that go hand in hand with the ever evolving world which lead to national building.
Socio-economic progress refers to the social life and economic activity that complement each other in the process of development, meaning they both need each other in order to achieve the ultimate goal of development. Development can also be defined in three core values which are life sustenance, self-esteem and freedom of choice (Goulet, 1971). The World Development Report (1991 :4), referred to development as “to improve the quality of life. Especially in the poor countries, a better quality of life generally calls for higher incomes, but involves much more.
It encompasses, as ends in themselves, better education, higher standards of health and nutrition, less poverty, a cleaner environment, more equality of opportunity, greater individual freedom, and a richer cultural life. ” “The overall goal of development is therefore to increase the economic, olitical and civil rights of all people across gender, ethnic groups, religions, races and countries” Since Development is a multidimensional process it has various aspects to it which would be referred to as dimensions. These dimensions include Political, Economic, Social, cultural and administrative development.
In order for there to be meaningful and conceivable development, these aspects must come into play all at once and not at different paces. Meaning it would be needless to say a country is developing economically or socially when it has a poor administrative, political and cultural system. Political development can be described as the capacity of a political system to resolve or address fundamental problems in society in relation to the changing demands of the people. It can be broadly stated as the development of institutions, attitudes, and values that form the political power system of a society.
Political development has key features which include popular participation, an emergence of a broad governing elite, an emergence of a capable state, an emergence of a meritocratic system, adherence to the rule of law and the separation of religion from the state. Popular participation is simply the public participation of he people in affairs of the nation. These may include good free and fair elections, periodic elections and a situation in which everyone can participate in political events freely.
An emergence of a broad governing elite is a situation in which the government has different kinds of people from all walks of life being involved in the governing process of the nation. It excludes factors such as nepotism, tribalism or members of a particular class ‘usually the well to do’ as the only suitable people to run the countries affairs. An emergence of a capable state is basically being able to rovide competent and good governance while the emergence of a meritocratic system can be defined as a system which only has people in it on the basis of their merit rather than by birth privilege.
Adherence to the law conceptualises on a basic principle of no one being ‘above the law. It also puts into consideration that if a nation has law abiding citizens there will be a decent approach towards development by the citizens of a particular nation without unrest or political upheaval. Separation of the state from religion is recognised as the church staying out the government’s affairs and the government staying out of the church’s affairs. Economic development is essentially an important component of development.
Raising national income, reducing poverty and more equi table distribution ot wealth and income are all essential components of economic development (Sapru, 1994). Economic development also implies a sustained increase in the production of goods and services, distribution of goods and services, and material consumption. It aims at the improvement of the lively hoods of people and broadly entails the fundamental structure changes that accompany such growth.
The key features of economic development include a consistent consumption pattern on consumer goods, a ombined participation of both the local and foreign people investors and a strong agricultural and industrious work ethic. The major determinants of economic growth are efficient resource location, investments and savings, improvements in science and technology with the accompaniment of increased skills and education Social development is a concept that usually focuses on organizing human energies and activities at higher levels to achieve greater results.
It’s about improving peoples access to the basic necessities or social services such as access to health, education, afe drinking water, improvement in peoples wages, working conditions, good sanitation and so on. Cultural development is the unified process of integrating and involving the various cultures of a nation towards the common goal of development which requires an effortless cooperation at all levels. Administrative development associates itself with the planning, implementing of policies, programmes and focuses on nation building through socio-economic development.
It follows a more practical approach by making the optimum use of talents and expertise available. The question on whether is Zambia developing can heed reference from the efinition posed by Dudley Seers. According to Dudley Seers (1979), the concept of development is the full realisation of human potential through a reduction of inequality, unemployment and absolute poverty. If any one of these three keys values is missing then it cannot be referred to as development or development cannot necessarily be considered.
The term inequality can be defined as a situation in which individuals or individual groups do not have equal social class, social status and social circle. There are various forms of social inequality, though those that are highly oticeable in Zambia include gender inequality, age inequality and income inequality. Gender inequality is the unequal empowerment and participation between men and women in both public and private life. The emphasis on gender is borne out of the deepening division in the role assigned to male and female in all spheres of human endeavour, particularly in the economic, political and educational spheres. Women are less active compared to men in political activities and decision making process. ” (en. wikipedia. org/.. /social_inequality). An example of gender inequality would be the noticeable fact that women in Zambia are largely under epresented at most levels in government especially in ministerial and other executive bodies.
Furthermore in the current societal set up of Zambia, the law requires marriage to be entered with the consent of both parties but it is however still reported that customary marriages continue to take place without the consent of the woman. On the other hand it must be commended that the government has taken steps in trying to ensure there is an equal enrolment of both genders in the educational system, however the gap normally widens when it gets to the level of secondary schools. However it must also be noted that if a third world country like
Zambia wants to develop it requires a large labour torce so as to produce a large number of goods and services. Unfortunately due to gender inequality the problem of discrimination comes in, in which women are excluded from certain Jobs therefore there is a reduced labour force which leads to low levels of production and an increase in population due to the fact that women get to do nothing but stay home and bare children. Age Inequality is defined as “the unfair treatment in promotions, recruitment, or privileges because of the age of the person” (http:// www. en. wikipedia. org/.. /social_inequality).
In Zambia age inequality usually occurs in the form of age discrimination. Age Discrimination is “when an employer opts to employ a person based on their age rather than on qualification or experience. A person may be employed because they are young and energetic but without any qualification, while a highly qualified person maybe denied employment because they are old” (http://www. mywage. org/zambia/main/decent-work/age-discrimination). Ironically in Zambia top government posts are usually reserved for the much older in society while the ‘non-prestigious’ occupations are apparently left for the youth.
This has the tendency to hinder development due to the lack of fresh ideas and policies at the top and it makes the youth of the day develop a negative attitude in which they begin to lack self-esteem and are unable to believe in their capabilities. According to Todaro and Smith (2003:205), Income Inequality is “the disproportionate distribution of total national income among households”. In other words it’s the unequal or uneven distribution of household or individual income across the population of any given economy. In Zambia income inequality can be seen on a daily basis in almost every place.
It can be seen at schools, social gatherings, communities and so on. In the year 2004 “the mean monthly income for a Zambian household was K511. 377. The modal income group for the country ranged from KI 50, 001 to K300, 000, representing 26% of the population. Only one in every three households (35%) had mean monthly incomes that exceeded K 300, 000; implying that the majority of Zambian households, or approximately 65%, had incomes below the basic needs basket” (http//. www. zamstats. gov. zm/lcm. php). Further articulation on income inequality can be shown in Zambia’s Gini coefficient.
A Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion and is a method that can be used to measure inequality. “The Gini coefficient for Zambia in 2006 was 0. 60, a decline from 0. 61 per cent in 1996. It was 0. 54 in the rural households and 0. 66 in urban households. This reveals that the income inequalities in 2006 were more pronounced in the urban areas than in the rural areas” (http://www. zambia-economist. com/2008/05/cso-on-income- inequality. html). This implies that in the Zambian societal step up there continues to be a gap in the unequal distribution of income.
This in turn leads to the problems of crime and disorder which is a hindrance to development. Despite the various efforts of the government to cause a reduction in income inequality, the gap between the rich and poor in terms of income continues to be on the rise. Unemployment can be defined as situations in which individuals actively seek Jobs but don’t get hired. It can also be said to be the state of being unemployed. In Zambia one of the main causes of unemployment is the frequent plummet of copper prices that has led to mines being closed and people being unemployed.
Poverty also leads to unemployment due o the poor being unable to afford a proper education which in turn means they can’t attord to go to college and get g paying Jobs. According to Turok ( growth of the modern sector has not created enough Jobs to meet the demand of those who have left the traditional sector. In fact, the expansion of the modern sector has not been accompanied by similar growth in employment. The result of this phenomenon has been the emergence of explosive urban population growth accompanied by wide spread open unemployment and the growth of the informal sector with disguised unemployment”.
In Zambia it is estimated that 50% of the orkforce is unemployed meaning that close to half the population is not in employment, in which most of the people in the population are dependent on the formal sector for employment while very few divert towards the direction of informal employment, However the government must be commended for encouraging the diversification into informal employment to create opportunities where non are existent, though it seems this plea may have fallen on deaf ears as most people continue to be dependent on formal employment.
In the year 2006 “the proportion of the unemployed among persons aged 12 years and above for the nation was 14%. Looking at sex differentials at national level, 13% of the males and 15% of the females were unemployed. Urban areas recorded higher unemployment rates (32%) than rural areas (5%)” (http//. www. zamstats. gov. zm/lcm. php). The effects of employment in Zambia can be seen various forms such as loss of human resources, increase in poverty, social problems exploitation of labour and political instability.
In terms of loss in human resources, Labourers in Zambia tend to waste their maximum time in the search of employment which is a waste of human resource while an increase in overty results from unemployment due to the fact that if there is no source of income a person or a family tend to grow poor. Unemployment tends to cause social problems such as crime, corruption, bribery, dishonesty and so on.
In the state of unemployment there tends to be exploitation of labour due to employers knowing their labourers will do almost anything to stay in employment even if it means being paid low wages and working in poor and unethical conditions. Unemployment usually births political instability due to the unfortunate fact that an unemployed person ends to heed negative attitudes and lose faith in democratic values because they tend to feel the government is worthless and has failed them.
Therefore it can be clearly seen that unemployment has a huge negative effect on development of Zambia though it must be understood that most of the individuals in the Zambian Population tend to see employment as either a White collar’ Job or a ‘6 to 6’ Job neglecting the aspect or dimension of self-employment which needless to say the government has been encouraging the mass populace to undertake in place of eagerly coveted formal employment. Poverty is a multi-dimensional notion and as such cannot be easily defined.
It exists where development has not taken place yet. Two dimensions of poverty are distinguished as income poverty and human poverty. Income poverty refers to a person as being poor when his or her income is lower than the poverty line. Human poverty refers to more than Just income and focuses on poverty as the denial of choices and opportunities for living a tolerable life (UNDP: 1997). According to De Beer (2001 :2), “Two broadly defined forms of poverty can be distinguished: case poverty and community poverty.
The first kind is found in more affluent societies where the individual or an individual family suffers poverty; their poverty is very visible compared to the living conditions ot the individuals and families in the surrounding area. Case poverty occurs where certain individuals or families do not share in the general well-being of society’. “Poverty can also be classified according to the level of disadvantage experienced: namely absolute and relative poverty’ (Ibid).
Relative poverty can referred to as having a minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living or relative mpoverishment while absolute poverty means absolute impoverishment or completely poor. According to the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (2007), 63. 8% of Zambians live below the poverty line of IJS$I per day, 87. 2 % live below the poverty line of IJS$ 2 per day and 46% are malnourished. These statistics place Zambia in the category of highly impoverished countries and requires major interventions for development to take place. According to Chigunta, et al. 1998) the main causes of poverty in Zambia are namely Internal factors, external factors and the impact of the structural adjustment programme. Internal factors equate to inappropriate domestic policies that have been largely characterised by state take- overs of private businesses and heavy state involvement in the economy which has led to discouragement of investment in the private sector, which leads to low levels of employment and income growth in rural areas. External factors are mainly related to Zambia’s trade situation in which it has heavily relied on the exportation of copper as its main chief export.
When copper prices plummet it affects development in the sense that government fails to have enough revenue to invest in the economy and rovide the essential social services needed. The structural adjustment programme came about due to the deepening economic crisis that affected the nation. The structural adjustment programme aims at restructuring the economy in order to restore growth through programmes such as cuts in public expenditure, reducing the number of civil servants in the civil service, devaluing the local currency and so on.
The unfortunate side to the structural adjustment programme is that it has resulted in the majority of people both in the rural and urban areas with inadequate incomes to meet the basic needs of life. In Zambia the effects of poverty can be seen throughout on a daily basis. These effects include an increased rate of homeless people, a high infant mortality rate and a high death rate. Examples of such cases would be hygiene, diet and sexually related diseases such as Cholera, Dysentery, Malnutrition and AIDS.
According to the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (2007), Life expectancy at birth is 37. 4%, under-5 mortality is 182 children of every 1000 live births and maternal mortality rate is 730 of every 100,000 live births. The national HIV prevalence rate is 16. 5% among 15-49 age groups but between 20-30% in urban areas. An increased crime rate can also be noted, since people turn desperate to survive in the face of poverty. Among other effects of poverty can be the mass emigration of population and ‘brain drain’.
Mass emigration of population simply implies people migrating to areas where there is a better-faring economy leading to the uneven development of a nation. In Zambia this common with it being noted that only areas along the line of rail are developed while other areas lack desirable standards of development. ‘Brain Drain’ refers to the emigration of highly trained or intelligent people from a particular country to another. This is another common unfortunate effect Zambia has been facing.
This means that while almost all the highly trained protessionals leave tor other countries the nation is lett witn a reduced labour force, mediocre or poorly trained professionals, which then leads to average performances in the various sectors of the economy hence development occurs at a slow pace or doesn’t occur at all. In Conclusion, it can be established that development has no universally agreed or accepted definition but it is realised that it’s a dynamic concept which has various meanings and dimensions. These imensions can’t be viewed individually but all share an integrated role in the continuous process of development.
In terms on whether Zambia is developing it can be noted that despite the recent celebrated economic growth and government’s tireless and countless efforts on the reduction of inequality, unemployment and absolute poverty, there continues to be a rise in the unemployment rate, cases of inequality on all levels continue to be seen and heard of and poverty continues to dwell among us and affect us negatively. Therefore a conclusion can be drawn that Zambia is yet to see any reasonable signs of it to be considered developing.