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Zambia’s currency is falling so fast its president asked the country to pray for it

Zambian President Edgar Lungu speaks before attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
The kwacha might be in God’s hands now.
By Melvin Backman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The Zambian kwacha has been in free-fall this year, especially since August, and it’s now down 45% for the year against the US dollar.

In response, president Edgar Lungu asked the country to pray to God to “heal” the currency, according to the AFP:

“Our God has heard our cries, he has forgiven us our sins and we are sure he will heal our country (as) we face serious social-economic challenges,” Lungu told a gathering of some 5,000 Zambians, including former presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda.

Zambia’s economy is heavily dependent on its copper trade, and its copper trade is heavily dependent on China. When China devalued its currency at the same that global copper prices hit rock bottom, investors got spooked, only briefly pausing their frenzied selling of kwacha when the government said it wouldn’t impose capital controls.

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