European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Thomas Ostros is expected in Zambia for a three-day official visit.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Ostros says his engagement in Lusaka from 25th to 26th September, 2023 will reinforce the strong partnership between Zambia and the European Union as well as mark the first high-level EIB visit to Zambia since the launch of EIB Global.
The Vice President who will be accompanied by international partners in the company of technical and financing experts from the EIB’s regional hub in Pretoria and Luxembourg headquarters, as well as the European Union Delegation in Zambia will meet Zambian political, banking and business leaders.
Mr Ostros said during the visit he will formally sign the first financing under the EIB’s groundbreaking pan-African agricultural and agribusiness financing programme.
“This landmark agreement, made with Zambian partner First Capital Bank and backed by the European Union, is set to unlock substantial investment opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness across the country and demonstrates the EIB’s strengthened support for agricultural development and food security in Zambia and throughout Africa,” he said.
Mr Ostros indicated that on Wednesday, he will open the EIB Southern Africa Small and Medium Enterprise Banking and Finance Academy with Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane.
He further added that more than 100 regional banking leaders and international partners will attend the Lusaka academy aimed at promoting financial inclusion and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
“Lusaka will also host the unveiling of the EIB 2023 Financing in Africa report, which provides valuable insights into banking and access to finance across the continent.
Zambia is the EIB’s largest country of operation in Southern Africa and over the past five decades, the EIB has provided more than EUR 1.2 billion for priority business, water, energy, and transport investment across the country.
This is contained in a statement issued to ZANIS today by the European Investment Bank.