President Edgar Lungu is tomorrow, Tuesday, expected to arrive in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, to attend the fourth Africa-Arab summit which has attracted several heads of state and government from Arab and African Union member countries.
Zambia’s permanent representative to the African Union Susan Sikaneta confirmed to ZANIS in Malabo that the summit will be held under the theme: “together for a sustainable economic development.”
Ambassador Sikaneta said President Lungu will be accompanied by Finance minister Felix Mutati and his commerce counterpart Margaret Mwanakatwe.
Foreign Affairs minister Harry Kalaba arrived in Malabo on Sunday to attend preparatory meetings of Ministers of foreign affairs ahead of the summit.
The last Africa-Arab summit was held in Kuwait in 2013. This year’s summit is expected to build up on resolutions made in the previous summit. It will also focus on finding common grounds for economic and sustainable development cooperation.
Ambassador Sikaneta said apart from issuing an important statement during the summit, President Lungu will on the side-lines of the high-level event hold bilateral meetings with leaders of delegations from Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and the King of Saudi Arabia.
And Ambassador Sikaneta said during the last 2013 Africa Arab summit, Kuwait availed a US$ 5 billion development facility to Africa.
This was in line with Kuwait’s promise of meeting the needs of the African countries of improving their economies, infrastructure, food security, and agriculture, and development projects
Ambassador Sikaneta, however, said to date only 70 percent of the US$ 5 billion credit has been utilized by African countries with 30 percent of the remaining amount still lying idle.
Ambassador Sikaneta said Zambia has already benefited from the funds which were applied on the construction of a teachers’ training college.
She said Zambia is eager to get more funds for other projects including the construction of a dual carriage way between Livingstone and Chililabombwe that will also link Solwezi.
The road project will not only impact positively on Zambia’s economic development but also enhance regional integration.