Zambia and German have signed a EURO 97.5 million technical and financial cooperation grant for water, sanitation and governance improvement programs for the period 2017 to 2018. German has also made a commitment to disburse EURO 27 million to Zambia which was pledged in 2015 for improvement of water resource management, sanitation, reduction of the effects of the El Nino spectacle, and implementation of decentralisation programs.
The government of Europe’s biggest economy has in addition pledged to provide EURO 20.5 million for poverty reduction programs under the Special Initiative One World – No Hunger Programme.
Secretary to the Treasury Mr. Fredson Yamba signed the agreements on behalf of Zambia while German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development – Head of Department for Southern Africa, Mr. Alois Schneider signed on behalf of German.
Commenting on the development, Finance Minister Felix Mutati has said the measure by German to give Zambia the EURO 124.5 million grant is a sign of the confidence of the international community in economic governance measures being implemented by the administration of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
The Minister said “the Zambian Government will continue to negotiate with both bilateral and multilateral cooperating partners to ensure that the donor components of the country’s financing needs in 2017 and beyond are timely financed and disbursed.”
“Through frequent interaction, the reliability of the relationship not only between Zambia and German, but with all cooperating partners should be optimized on the basis of common objectives, fellowship, and harmonisation of perceptions and interests,” Mr. Mutati said.
And German Ambassador to Zambia Achim Burkart has said Zambia is an important partner in the African sub-Saharan region whose great potential for renewable energies is a source of attraction for investments from Europe.
Ambassador Burkart said, “in recognition of Zambia’s economic recovery efforts, we have invited the Minister of Finance Mr. Felix Mutati to the German-Africa Business Summit to be held in Kenya next year as a panelist on setting the scene for economic growth in Africa.”
Early this week, financing agreements for support to the Zambia Social Protection Expansion Programme were signed between Zambia and two cooperating partners; Finland and Sweden, in which the former gave Zambia a grant of K63.2 million and the later K177.2 million for the period 2016 to 2018.
The Zambian Government has on its part increased the contribution to the social cash transfer in the 2017 budget by 85% to K2.7 billion.