THE five-year K39 billion development programme announced by the United States for Zambia is a major economic boost which should change the face of the nation.
The massive development programme announced by US Charge d’Affaires David Young will be invested in health, agriculture, education and tourism.
With the country reeling from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the American aid could not have come at a better time.
It is not a secret that the coronavirus pandemic is not only a health hazard but has also uprooted the world’s economy.
Not one country, from the financial movers and shakers in the world to the struggling least developed countries have been spared.
And for poor countries like Zambia, this kind of help will make a difference in the country’s drive to improve not only the economy but also the living standards of the people.
Mr Young said the launch of USAID’s new development strategy cements the US continued support to the people of Zambia for years to come.
The American envoy announced the programme when he paid a courtesy call on President Edgar Lungu at State House yesterday to celebrate the USAID Development project grant agreement.
This development package clearly sends a clear message to local prophets of doom that the international community has not neglected Zambia as they have been dreaming and claiming.
It is a sign of confidence in the country’s leadership that even in the midst of the economic difficulties the country is going through, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
This is the more reason why the American government has seen it fit to invest so much of its taxpayers’ money because it is money not being poured into a bottomless pit.
The investment cements the strong bonds of friendship that have been nurtured through the years, from the time that Zambia attained her independence.
President Lungu also alluded to this relationship noting that the American government has since independence in 1964 provided support in the education, health and other sectors of the economy.
It is a relationship based on mutual respect between two independent countries that will not allow artificial differences to mar their long-term goals.
As Mr Young said, “the K39 billion in committed funds are not a handout, nor are they a loan that must be paid back. These funds are an investment in the Zambian people and they are contingent on a successful partnership with the government, the Zambian people, the private sector and civil society.”
He said the US was committed to working with the government of Zambia to improve health, literacy and food security for the most vulnerable Zambians including pushing this year to epidemic control of HIV/AIDS.
This fits in well with the government’s growth agenda that has targeted agriculture and tourism in addition to improving the health and educational sectors.
We note that this is not the first time the US government has come to Zambia’s assistance much to the disappointment of doomsayers.
In April, the United States announced a K180 million support to Zambia’s fight against Covid-19 through Mr Young in an online teleconference discussion.
Ironically the same day, a former Cabinet minister was on one of the private radio stations espousing on how Zambia’s credibility had sank so low that no country in the world was willing to help revive her ailing economy or offer any help.
The gentleman articulated on how the International Monetary Fund and World Bank had offered stimulus packages for countries to access in the advent of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has crippled the world’s economy.
But as we have noted, the ties between the two countries are deep rooted and will not be soured by lies and cheap politicking of perceived repression in the country.


Related Articles

Back to top button