FINANCE Minister Alexander Chikwanda has appealed to Britain to relax economic sanctions against neighbouring Zimbabwe as the continued action was also negatively affecting Zambia’s growth ambitions.
Mr Chikwanda said this when he met United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening at his office for bilateral discussions focused on expanding existing relations between Zambia and Britain.
“We are appealing to Britain to help some of our neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe, our economies in this region are inter-linked, when there is a problem there, it spills over to us,” Mr Chikwanda said.
Mr Chikwanda thanked Britain for being a close ally in aiding the improvement of key economic sectors such as health, education as well as several other reform programmes including the tax system.
Mr Chikwanda said Zambia needed as much as donor countries to reduce its dependence on donor support through growing its own economy and was determined to achieve this target.
“Zambia highly appreciates your support, we are your brother but we need to be self reliant, we cannot continue depending on aid. We need to grow our economy and reduce donor dependence. Your visiting shows the cordiality of relations between Britain and Zambia,” he said.
Meanwhile, Britain has pledged unwavering support to Zambia’s development agenda, announcing that several investment windows will open to woo increased investment from Britain.
Ms Greening said Britain remained committed to help Zambia yield results from its development strategy through various reforms.
She said two trade delegations would soon visit Zambia to look at investment opportunities while an international investment meeting was scheduled for London to help drive Britain investment to Zambia.
“DFID is a very strong partner to help economic development and we want to be part of this strategy. We need to work together to increase investment and in human capital development,” she added.
She said Zambia’s relations had been longstanding and successful and that this should continue.
Ms Greening was in the country to among others deliver a keynote address during the Regional Symposium on Ending Child Marriages held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka and hosted by First Lady Christine Kaseba and Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo.