Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Joseph Malanji, M.P. held a virtual meeting with United Kingdom Minister of Africa Mr. James Duddridge, M.P. Mr. Malanji was accompanied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary for International Relations and Cooperation Ambassador Chalwe Lombe.
During the meeting, Mr. Malanji emphasized the need to enhance cooperation between Zambia and the United Kingdom by fully utilizing opportunities presented by the Global Britain agenda and the common membership in the Commonwealth and United Nations.
Mr. Malanji reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to further strengthening the bilateral cooperation between Zambia and the United Kingdom.
He thanked the British Government for its significant support to Zambia over the years mainly in education, agriculture, health, economic development, water and sanitation, nutrition, and good governance.
Mr. Malanji bemoaned the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on countries globally but noted that the disease could be conquered with continued solidarity and cooperation.
The Minister commended the British Government for supporting various funds and initiatives aimed at assisting vulnerable countries’ response to the economic impact of the pandemic.
Mr. Malanji regretted the postponement of the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda owing to the Covid-19 pandemic but noted the importance that Zambia attaches to its membership to the organization.
And Mr. Duddridge noted the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economies and people’s lives globally and the efforts that were being made by countries to fight the disease.
Mr. Duddridge pledged the United Kingdom’s readiness to support Zambia and share information on lessons and experiences in the fight against the pandemic.
He stated that the United Kingdom was assisting Zambia with UK £110 million in aid funding, a testament to the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Minister emphasized the need for the two countries to work together to ensure mutual support on common positions and candidatures in international organizations.
Mr. Duddridge further stressed the United Kingdom’s willingness to explore investment opportunities in Zambia’s key sectors such as mining.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which was scheduled to be held in June in Rwanda was postponed to June 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.