THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has praised Zambia for her macro-economic stability and the progress it continues to make in various economic sectors.
The Bank has also said it is happy to continue being the country’s partner in driving the economic development agenda.
AfDB president Donald Kaberuka commended Zambia for making significant progress on the macro-economic front, diversification, and for being an inclusive economy.
Dr Kaberuka also said that AfDB was happy to be Zambia’s partner in driving the country’s economic development agenda.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda yesterday, Dr Kaberuka said he was impressed by how much progress Zambia was making every year.
“I am always impressed by how much progress Zambia is making every year,” Dr Kaberuka said. “I want to commend you and your Government because you are one of the few countries that are truly getting close to the frontiers.”
He said poverty and unemployment were a problem on the continent, adding that African countries still had a long way to go to achieve the desired growth.
Dr Kaberuka, who is in the country to attend the National Women’s Economic Empowerment Expo, visit the Kariba Dam and other projects, also praised the Government for the progress made on the issues of gender, empowerment as well as financial inclusion.
“I want to commend your Government and people of Zambia for hosting this women’s conference,” he said.
Dr Kaberuka said the bank was now financing different projects worth about US$850 million.
The bank supports the development of the Kazungula Bridge, Nacala Corridor, Nkana Water, Rural Water Sanitation, climate resilient programmes, the Global Agriculture Food Security and skills development, among other projects.
He said later this year, AfDB would be working on a new strategy for Zambia focusing on priority areas.
“I want to congratulate Zambia for being selected to host the AfDB Board meeting in 2016 as this will help Zambia promote the country’s economic development to the rest of Africa, he said.
Speaking earlier, Mr Chikwanda said AfDB was an instrument that was helping Zambia to fulfill the Government’s development agenda.
Mr Chikwanda praised the bank for supporting the Government’s development programmes, including the Budget, saying AfDB was one of the donors that had remained active supporters of the Budget.
“The African Development Bank is very supportive to Zambia in very different ways and is also key to financing regional projects not only limited to Kazungula Bridge. It also extends to Mpulungu harbour,” he said.
The bank’s involvement covers a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and education, which he said was key in delivering the much-needed skills to fulfill Government’s development agenda.
Mr Chikwanda said the financing of Kazungula Bridge would foster regional integration and enhance trade in the sub-Saharan region.