14 January 2013

Zambia: Norway Pledges More Support to Zambia

THE Norwegian government has pledged continued support to Zambia as long as Government remains transparent in the management of public resources.

Norwegian Minister for International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmas said his country would continue supporting various projects to improve the livelihood of the local citizens.

He said this in Ndola at the weekend shortly before meeting Finance Deputy Minister Miles Sampa at Mukuba Hotel.

Mr Holmas said Norway would work hand-in-hand with the Zambian Government to ensure that the country was not robbed of its resources.

He said his government would like to see that Zambians got a fair share of their natural resources like copper, which contributes about 20 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product.

"We think it's important that we work with you and not let you be robbed of your natural resources.

"We think it's good to support your efforts and the need for transparency in the industry," he said.

Mr Holmas urged the Zambian Government to ensure that its programmes were inclusive of both the rural and urban areas.

In response, Mr Sampa thanked the Norwegian government which also supports Zambia's budget.

Mr Sampa said the Norway had been instrumental in setting up a financial intelligence centre and also assisted in various capacity building programmes.

"You have been keen to see that Zambians get the best out of our natural resources such as copper, and that we get enough tax from our minerals because it's through that that we can support health, education, roads, skills and financial support," he said

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