By SIMON MUNTEMBA
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says he is looking forward to the next bilateral consultations between Zambia and Germany in ad-vancing cooperation between the two countries.
And President Lungu said Zambia admired the significant strides that Rwanda had made in areas of Information Communication Technology (ICT) as well as other key sectors of the economy.
The President said this at State House yesterday during the presentation of credentials by High Commissioner-designate of Rwanda, Amandin Rugira, and the ambassador-designate of Germany, Anne Wagner-Mitchell.
He said Zambia and Germany had enjoyed excellent bilateral relations over many years and that this was reflected in the significant sup-port accorded to Zambia since independence.
He expressed gratitude to Germany for the continued generous support accorded to Zambia’s socioeconomic development, saying this support was evidence of true friendship.
“Currently, the areas of focus are water and sanitation, good governance, renewable energy, agriculture, and nutrition, which are of utmost importance to the people of Zambia. The German Government continues to assist Zambia bilaterally, and as part of the European Union, in time of great need.
“This includes helping Zambian farmers mitigate the negative effects of drought, the social cash transfer programme, the renewed scaling up of nutrition efforts of the national food and nutrition commission and importantly, Zambia’s Covid-19 response,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu said the relationship between Zambia and Rwanda had remained cordial as evidenced by the state visit to Zambia by President, Paul Kagame, in 2017 and his reciprocal visit to Rwanda in 2018.
He said during the two visits, the duo held fruitful discussions and several bilateral agreements signed that require full implementation and that the two Heads of States stand ready to enhance cooperation for the mutual benefit of their peoples.
He encouraged the High Commissioner to work closely with the relevant authorities to finalise negotiations on the draft agreements on co-operation in double taxation, agriculture, visa exemption, immigration, education and tourism, among other areas.
“Zambia looks forward to hosting the 7th session of the Zambia- Rwanda joint permanent commission of cooperation, to advance the co-operation between our two countries as soon as the pandemic situation permits. We further look forward to participating in the forthcoming Commonwealth summit in Kigali which has been rescheduled to next year.
“At the multilateral level, we look forward to working closely with the republic of Rwanda to advance, among others, the United Nations’ 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the African Union’s agenda 2063, in order to create the Africa we want,” he said.
By SIMON MUNTEMBA