Zambia has commenced preparations for hosting of the 2016 Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank in Lusaka. The 2016 ADB Annual meeting is expected to be attended by approximately 5, 000 people from Africa and overseas, from Monday 23rd to Friday 27th May, 2016.
Speaking to some members of the preparatory committee, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda called for thoroughness in preparations to ensure that the thousands of visitors are well serviced, and that the country is properly marketed to investors and financiers, for the benefit of the Zambian economy.
“Players in the hospitality and other relevant service industries in Zambia must begin to get ready for the influx of people who will come to our capital city so that, through efficient services to them, we affirm our status as a preferred destination for safe and sustainable investment,” said Mr. Chikwanda.
The Minister said, “The much needed foreign exchange which participants at the 2016 Annual Meetings of the ADB in Lusaka will bring with them can only be spent and remain in Zambia if we offer them excellent services”.
Hosting of the 2016 Annual Meeting of the ADB has huge economic benefits for Zambia. These include foreign exchange inflows and creation of jobs in the hospitality, transport, language translation, events management, and information and communication technology sectors.
The preparatory committee of the 2016 ADB Annual Meeting will soon commence an exercise of grading service facilities in Lusaka to ensure that they meet the standard of hosting such a prestigious event.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chikwanda, who is also current Chairperson of the African Development Bank Board of Governors is set to swear in the New President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina at function to be held on Tuesday 1st September, 2015 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
This is the first time that a Zambian national will be presiding over the installation of a President of the African Development Bank; a Triple-A Credit-Rated Multinational Financial Institution. Dr. Adesina, 55, succeeds Dr. Donald Kaberuka, whose second term as President of the ADB ends on 31st August, 2015.
Asked about his view as the first Zambian to carry such an honour, Mr. Chikwanda reiterated that “the honour belongs to all the citizens of Zambia on whose behalf I will be performing that esteemed duty.”
Dr. Adesina, a Nigerian Development Economist and that country’s outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was elected as the 8th President of the African Development Bank by the Bank’s Board of Governors at the recently held Annual Meetings, which also marked the commemoration of the Bank Group’s 50th Annual Meeting in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.