Zambia has signed a €10 million financing agreement with the European Union (EU) to support the National Authorising Officer (NAO), who oversees the implementation of the European Development Fund (EDF).
Through institutional strengthening of the NAO, who is the Secretary to the treasury, and corresponding line ministries, the financing will contribute to efficient and timely implementation of EU-funded projects and programmes.
EU Ambassador to Zambia Alessandro Mariani said the grant under the 11th EDF and runs from 2014 to 2020 is part of a total financing of a total of €484 million.
This is aimed at supporting Zambia’s national development plans with emphasis on energy, agriculture and governance.
“The national inductive programme has set aside €244 million to improve access to clean, reliable and affordable energy. At the same time, €110 million has been allocated to reduce rural poverty and improve livelihoods through agricultural programmes, while reserving €100 million to advance democratic governance, accountability, state effectiveness and access to justice.
“The final component of the programme has set aside €30 million for support measures and NAO support,” he said at the signing ceremony yesterday.
Mr Mariani said the EU remains committed to support Zambia and the relationship will evolve beyond the usual development.
He said it will also encompass political dialogue, trade, economic diplomacy and other common areas of interest such as climate change and outreach to the private sector.
Mr Mariani said the EU has also incorporated in the agreement an envelope for funding assistance and studies in the framework of the EU-Zambia partnership.
This will work as leverage for accessing funds made available by the international communities under various initiatives.
“For instance, it can be used to finance pre-feasibility and feasibility studies to develop bankable projects to be submitted to financing institutions,” he said.
And Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said Zambia remains committed to the national strategic goal of transforming the country into a prosperous middle–income nation by 2030.
Mr Yamba said this will be achieved by partnering with co-operating partners in areas of poverty reduction.
“I am pleased to acknowledge that the EU is one of the largest and most consistent provider of development assistance to Zambia,” he said.
He said the financing agreement will provide Government with finance and technical assistance needed to ensure effective coordination and management of EU-Zambia development cooperation over the next four years.