ZAMBIA: The Great Railway Disaster

A Chinese-built export lifeline is all choked up

Five years have passed since Zambia joined the U.N. boycott against Rhodesia. During that time, Rhodesia has managed to survive quite well with the help of embargo-breaking Western countries and supplies from South Africa. Meanwhile, Zambia's economy has dwindled toward disaster. Landlocked, Zambia needed transit routes through Rhodesia to southern Africa's ports for its main export, copper. After the boycott closed the Rhodesian borders, scarce alternative routes disappeared, world copper prices declined, and Zambia began running short of food, machinery, oil fertilizer, soap and coal. Inflation ballooned to 30%, fueled...

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