Zambia has today signed two Memoranda of understanding with the United Arab Emirates for mineral resource exploration between the two countries, as well as enhancement of support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The signing ceremony, held at State House, was presided over by President Hakainde Hichilema and visiting United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Shakboot AL Nahyan.
Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Elias Mubanga signed the 15 million United States dollars Khalifa Fund for SMEs while Minister of Mines Paul Kabuswe signed the MoU on mineral exploration.
President Hichilema urged the teams from Zambia and the United Arab Emirates to speed up the implementation of the agreements, emphasizing that the government is in a hurry to reconstruct the economy and improve delivery of key social services to the citizens.
He added that Zambia is particularly interested to collaborate with the UAE and learn from them how they have managed to attain development for their country, using their natural resource base, which he described as admirable.
The Head of State said as part of government’s transformation agenda, technology forms part of the drive towards development and that the UAE becomes a critical partner for the country.
And Sheikh Shakboot AL Nahyan, the UAE Minister of State for foreign Affairs said the UAE wants to deepen its relationship with Zambia by collaborating in many areas, while strengthening ties in an already existing relationship.
Sheikh AL NAHYAN says Zambia has been welcoming and the UAE is very comfortable to strengthen the relations.
Meanwhile, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Elias Mubanga said the 15 million United States dollars from the KHALIFA Fund will boost the capacity of SMEs to do business, especially small scale farmers.
Mr. Mubanga however observed that the ministry will need additional technical support to SMEs as his ministry plans to set up an incubation center for SMEs in the country.