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Working Paper 35 - Privatization of Public Enterprises in Zambia: An Evaluation of the Policies, Procedures and Experiences

01-jan-2000

The term Privatization is often loosely used to mean a number of related activities, including any expansion of the scope of private sector activity in an economy and the adoption by the public sector of efficiency enhancing techniques commonly employed by the private sector. While acknowledging that no definition of privatization is water tight, we will define privatization, for the purpose of this paper, as the transfer of productive asset ownership and control from the public to the private sector.1 The transfer of assets can be total, partial or functionary, with the sale being implemented by methods such as private sales, leasing arrangements, employee buy outs and share issues. In Africa, many governments have embraced the idea of privatization, brought to the fore mainly as a part of the adjustment and stabilization programs of the mid-eighties and the nineties. Privatization now frequently features in government policy statements and in conditionalities from donors. The past decade has also seen the World Bank and other donors get increasingly involved in lending operations towards parastatal sector reforms that included privatization components.

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