8. Concluding remark
Zambia’s long-term decline, and the massive challenges it now faces, create one of the most difficult environments anywhere for meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Indeed most will not be met in Zambia.
Many of the explanations for what has gone wrong lie in the political sphere, and, as this paper has suggested, for these to turn around will require changes to the framework of incentives and restraints that affect, even determine, the behaviour of those with power. It would be naпve to believe that this can happen readily.
Yet there is reason for hope. A decade of multi-party democracy may so far have disappointed many people in Zambia in its failure to reverse economic decline. But it has created a diverse civil society, political parties, and press, all of which contain individuals and organisations that are independent and demand more accountable government. As several events of the past two years have shown, they are now winning some battles, if not yet the war.