Swiss Transit Trade and Zambia - special issue in English of the Afrika-Bulletin
This Bulletin discusses Switzerland’s economic relations with the South; the authors specifically examine this topic using Zambia and its copper as examples. The contributions are part of an international research project funded by the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) and led by Basel social anthropologist Rita Kesselring. The research project “Valueworks: Effects of Financialization along the Copper Value Chain” follows copper’s path from the mines to the end buyer and describes the parties involved in this process. It is shown that the extent of the participation of Swiss companies in the Zambian copper sector exceeds all expectations. This finding makes the under-regulation of the commodities trading centre Switzerland even more problematic and shows that a broad political discussion is urgently needed. Our conference The Copper Value Chain - Life in Zambia, the Swiss Commodity Hub, and Responsible Business of 8 December 2018 offers a forum in this respect.
Gregor Dobler and Rita Kesselring describe the various stages of the value chain, at which Swiss companies operate in Zambia and skim off value that does not remain in Zambia. Stefan Leins takes a close look at the commodity-trading sector in Geneva and Zug and the conditions that make Switzerland attractive to powerful global players. The article by James Musonda deals with the workers who mine copper and their perspective of the mining industry. Barbara Müller's contribution describes the current political and economic situation, the fight against rampant corruption and the threat of loss of democracy, as well as Zambia’s high indebtedness.
Download: Afrika Bulletin 172 (pdf)