President Edgar Lungu has reiterated that Zambia will continue to foster and deepen strategic partnerships with the international community to consolidate mutual ties and cooperation.
And President Lungu says the government will also continue to engage respective countries through deliberate enhancement of cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
ZANIS reports that the Head of State said this when he received letters of credentials from Rwanda new High Commissioner to Zambia Amandin Rugira, and Germany Ambassador Anne Wagner-Mitchell at State House in Lusaka today.
“…I wish to re-affirm the Zambian government’s continued commitment to enhanced relations and cooperation, at bilateral and multilateral levels, with both Rwanda and Germany, for the mutual benefit of the people of our countries, ‘’ said President Lungu.
The Head of State noted that Zambia and the Federal republic of Germany have enjoyed outstanding bilateral relations for many years, as reflected in the significant support accorded to Zambia over 50 years.
President Lungu further noted that the areas of cooperation and focus have been water and sanitation, good governance, renewable energy, agriculture, and nutrition, which are of utmost importance to the people of Zambia.
President Lungu praised the German government for the continued generous support accorded to Zambia’s socio-economic development.
“The German government continues to assist Zambia bilaterally, and as part of the European Union (EU), in time of great need. This includes helping Zambian farmers mitigate the negative effects of drought, the social cash transfer programme, the renewed scaling up of nutrition efforts of the national food and nutrition commission and importantly, Zambia’s COVID-19 response,” added President Lungu.
The Head of State has since called for increased German investment in Zambia following the impressive establishment of the huge commercial farming project by Amatheon Agri, in Mumbwa District of Central province which President Lungu has since visited.
Germany’s Ambassador Anne-Wagner Mitchel, said her country remains committed to enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation to help Zambia foster her development process.
Dr Wagner-Mitchel stressed that her country will continue to support Zambia’s tourism sector, water and sanitation, food security and conservation, and renewable energy.
“ Germany’s friendship is also evidenced in her continued support as seen in her response to drought and climate change and commitment of over 550 million Kwacha for Zambia’s COVID19 response,” Ambassador Wanger –Mitchel stated.
While praising Zambia for her warm hospitality, the German envoy noted that the country is an anchor of peace and heaven for refugees in the region and hoped that Zambia can continue to play a significant role in promoting peace and security.
Dr Wagner-Mitchel assured President Lungu that Germany will continue to support the agriculture sector and assured a strong presence at the next Agritech exhibition in Chisamba, whose edition this year could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said Germany is keen to observe Zambia’s next general elections.
And President Lungu said Zambia admires the significant strides that Rwanda has made in Information Communication Technology (ICT) and other key sectors of the economy.
The president said Zambia looks forward to working closely with Rwanda to finalise negotiations on the draft agreements on cooperation in double taxation, agriculture, visa exemption, immigration, education and tourism, among other areas.
President Lungu said Zambia looks forward to hosting the 7th session of the Zambia-Rwanda joint permanent commission of cooperation, to advance the collaboration between the two countries as soon as the COVID -19 pandemic situation allows.
He further assured that Zambia looks forward to participating in the forthcoming commonwealth summit in Kigali to be held next year.
“At the multilateral level, we look forward to working closely with the republic of Rwanda to advance, among others, the United Nations’ 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the African Union’s agenda 2063, in order to create the “Africa we want”, President Lungu pointed out.
Rwanda High Commissioner, Amandin Rugira said his country appreciates the existing bilateral relations between the two countries and pledged to strengthen them for the benefit of the two peoples.
The envoy thanked President Lungu for the land given to Rwanda to build offices for its mission and hoped the size of the land could be increased.
And President Lungu hoped that Germany and Rwanda will collaborate with Zambia and the rest of the world to help combat the COVID 19 pandemic which has caused socio-economic disruptions globally.