The African Development Bank (AfDB) launched the Development Effectives Review for Zambia on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 in Lusaka. The launch was attended by nearly all the Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Zambia, Heads of International Agencies, Senior Government officials, and representatives from the private sector, civil society organizations and the media.
In his keynote address, Zambian Minister of Finance and Acting President Alexander B. Chikwanda stated that the Government welcomed the review and its hope and expectation was that the Bank and the Government would continue to strive for greater development effectiveness.
Chikwanda noted that the Development Effectiveness Review for Zambia offers an opportunity to both the Zambian Government and the Bank to seriously reflect on the significant achievements of the recent five years and the tremendous challenges that remain. In his address, the Finance Minister called on the Bank to increase its support to women and young people in order for them to achieve their full potential.
"Women are the backbone of small scale agriculture constituting a vast reservoir of enterprise and creativity, but lack access to capital," he said, referring to a conversation he had with the Bank's Special Envoy on Gender. He also appealed to the Bank to come up with one or two projects to support women entrepreneurship in the country.
The Finance Minister noted that the Bank lending program in Zambia had expanded impressively in the infrastructure, agriculture, health and education sectors in recent years and, relative to other global lending or development institutions, the Bank's disbursements were commendably faster.
In his welcome remarks, the Bank's Resident Representative to Zambia, Freddie Kwesiga, stated that the Development Effectiveness Review provides a comprehensive report on the Bank's performance in the country and tracks how Bank operations have contributed to Zambia's development results. The Bank has been an active player in Zambia since 1971, providing more than US $1.4 billion in development support, he said.
The African Development Bank is currently one of the largest providers of development finance to Zambia, with total commitments amounting to more than US $415 million.
Kwesiga thanked the Bank's development partners, agencies, the private sector and civil society for their cooperation with the AfDB and promised to continue working closely with them through knowledge exchange and sharing of experiences for the benefit of development in Zambia.
Victoria Chisala, Division Manager within the Bank's Quality Assurance and Results Department, provided an overview of the report, highlighting the Bank's contribution to Zambia's National Development Agenda.