President Hakainde Hichilema has commended the World Bank Group for its continued support to Zambia’s economic restoration programme.
And President Hichilema has also appreciated the bank’s support towards Zambia’s quest for a debt restructuring programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Speaking when visiting World Bank Group Managing Director, Anshula Kent paid a courtesy call on him at the State House, President Hichilema explained that he was elected into office by the people of Zambia in order to reform the economy.
He noted that efforts have already been made towards improving the current economic status and enhancing national development.
The President cited the provision of free education from grades 1 to 12, and the promotion of skills development as a tool to create employment opportunities among others as some of the programmes aimed at bettering the lives of the people in the country.
“We appreciate your support in our debt restructuring programme which is very important to us, we came into office on the ticket of bringing change, and people took this decision because they want the economy to be restructured in order to bring development,” he said.
The Head of State noted that the government is committed to delivering an expanded economy that takes into consideration the social needs and development of the people.
He however, stated that for this to be achieved, there is need for the government to address its financial challenges such as the high debt.
President Hichilema expressed concern that the current debt levels have a negative impact on the country’ economic development agenda.
He said this is why there is a need for institutions such as the World Bank Group to come on board and assist Zambia through the IMF deal.
“The current debt level is choking, if nothing is done to address it, it has the potential to affect our economic development agenda, that is why we need your support in our debt restructuring programme,’’ he stressed.
The Head of State has also said that Zambia will reinforce its partnership with institutions such as the World Bank Group for the benefit of the country.
President Hichilema pointed out that the country is likely to accrue more benefits by interactions with international organisations like the IMF and the World Bank Group, contrary to the beliefs by certain sections of the society that they do not mean well.
And World Bank Group Managing Director, Anshula Kent has pledged her organisation’s support to efforts by Zambia to reach a debt sustainability programme by the IMF.
Ms. Kent said the World Bank Group is pleased with the economic transformation being undertaken by the government of Zambia hence will support any initiatives targeted at enhancing its development.
“We appreciate the collaboration that we have with Zambia, and will support your efforts to improve the economy of the country and the whole process that you are doing to restructure it,” she said.
The World Bank Group Managing Director who is also Chief Finance Officer is in the country for a three day working visit where she is expected to hold a number of high level meetings with key stakeholders and visit World Bank funded projects.