VICE-President Nevers Mumba has commended the United States government for its continued assistance in the promotion of democratic governance, economic growth and health of Zambian people.
Dr Mumba said the American government had of late even gone further to increase trade and economic co-operation with Zambia through the enactment of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The Vice-President was speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the Peace Corps 10th anniversary celebrations in Zambia.
"Over the years, the American government has continued to help us in various forms like provision of education and humanitarian assistance, development of tourism and strengthening the private sector," he said.
Dr Mumba said one of the most important parts of the two countries friendship in the last 10 years had been the provision of peace corps volunteers by the American government.
He hailed the 140 volunteers currently serving in Zambia for supplementing Government efforts in assisting the under privileged with self empowering technics.
The volunteers are currently involved in projects identified by the Zambian Government such as fish farming, preventive health, road construction and wildlife conservation mostly in rural areas.
The Vice-President said Government was pleased to note that the volunteers were especially involved in addressing the HIV/AIDS scourge which was one of Zambia's biggest challenges currently.
"During your tour of duty, you can do a lot to dispel the misconception of what HIV/AIDS is and what it is not. I hope and request that you will take an active role in educating communities about the dangers and prevention of this scourge," Dr Mumba told the volunteers.
The Vice-President said the volunteers had not only promoted a better understanding of the two peoples but most importantly strengthened America's understanding of Zambians by sharing experiences.
US ambassador to Zambia Martin Brennan said that the essence of Peace Corps was the spirit of shared humanity and that was what drove them to be volunteers in that noble job.
"For 10 meaningful years, Peace Corps volunteers have shared the hardships and joys of the Zambian people.
"They have worked together so that our two peoples can step forward with a degree of confidence over the rough terrain of life," Mr Brennan said.
Peace Corps country representative David Morris said his organisation had been in existence since 1961.
Mr Morris said the volunteers in Zambia were actively involved in helping Government efforts in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
He, said, however, that it required hard work, motivation, sacrifice and above all a good sense of humour to undertake the job of a Peace Corps volunteer.