New British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley has praised Zambia and President Edgar Lungu’s commitment to fight effects of climate change as outlined in his speech to Parliament recently.
High Commissioner Woolley, who presented his credentials to President Lungu on Thursday, also said in a short video that he expressed to the Head of State his “keen desire to further strengthen our shared partnership in areas such as economic development and prosperity, governance and human investment, regional stability, climate security and people to people contacts”.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here in Zambia. Yesterday, I had the great honour of presenting my credentials to His Excellency President Edgar Lungu and also the opportunity to discuss with him our close history and close friendship as two nations. I also I really look forward to serving in this beautiful country Zambia. Zikomo Kwambiri,” High Commissioner Woolley said in the brief video.
And speaking after presenting his credentials at State House, the envoy committed his country to working with Zambia in its efforts to grow the economy and minimize effects of climate change.
“Your Excellency, I listened with great interest to your recent address to Parliament on the theme of accelerating sustainable development for a better Zambia amidst the impact of climate change. As a country that has invested significantly as a development partner over many years, and as co-host of next year’s major climate change summit, COP26, the UK will continue to ally with Zambia as it seeks to realise its ambition in these vital areas. We understand the importance of a Zambia that is a stable, democratic partner in the region, which funds and delivers effective services to its citizens to build human capital. The UK will continue to support these efforts in key sectors, including social protection, nutrition and family planning,” High Commissioner Woolley said.
“The UK will also work side-by-side with Zambia as it seeks to achieve its goal of becoming a prosperous middle-income country by 2030. We will support your efforts for greater economic development and prosperity, through regional trade facilitation, inclusive growth and job creation strategies and generating a pipeline of opportunities for both commercial and institutional investors. We will work with you to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses to grow into viable opportunities for larger investment funds, linking Zambia with the UK’s global offer on access to finance and expertise on asset and investment management.”
He added that Zambia was already a trading partner of choice for many UK companies.
“The UK is a major investor across many sectors of the Zambian economy. Current investments in Zambia by UK business in key sectors such as mining, agriculture and financial services total almost £1billion. We should celebrate too the wider bonds that bind us…As do our governments, so do our peoples share close links and friendships. There is a large Zambian community in the UK, and an approximate 10,000 Britons living here in Zambia, with many more visiting for business or leisure each year,” High Commissioner Woolley said. “Many Zambians choose to study in the UK’s world-class universities and colleges, including on Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships. The vibrant British Council is creating opportunities and enabling young Zambians to fulfil their potential – improving their employability, resilience and networks by delivering 22,000 internationally recognised UK examinations, professional development training to 3,000 teachers and school leaders; football and community skills training; partnerships in arts and music; and English language training.”
He said he subscribed to the notion that the best way to predict the future is to create it.
“I look forward to the continued development of a modern partnership between Zambia and the UK; a partnership based on shared interests and increasingly focused on trade and investment, as well as development expertise and assistance,” stated High Commissioner Woolley.