Mon, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000
By CHARLES MUSONDA
THE Irish government hopes that all politicians in Zambia will concentrate on addressing problems the country is facing now that elections are over.
Ireland Ambassador to Zambia Seamus O’grady said his country alongside other cooperating partners were committed to helping Zambia but would expect leadership and sound policies from Government.
“Thankfully, we have seen some positive signs in the external factors that affect the economy – improved copper prices, good rains, and of course winning the Africa Cup Under-20 championship.
“Now that elections are out of the way, we hope that there will be concentration by all involved in politics, whether in Government or opposition, on tackling the many problems that Zambia still faces.
“In the short term, Zambia faces some difficult times especially in terms of tackling its fiscal deficit and high debt level exposure.
“Our commitment in Zambia is to the poor and we remain committed to working towards the eradication of poverty and reduction of inequality,” Mr. O’grady said on Friday evening during the Irish National Day celebration in Lusaka.
He said for Ireland to continue assisting Zambia, it required its own economy to remain healthy and competitive, adding that his country had overcome economic difficulties it experienced between 2008 and 2012.
And Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Lloyd Kaziya invited Irish companies to invest in Zambia and take advantage of the enabling environment as the Southern African country diversified her economy.
“Investment opportunities exist in several sectors including agriculture, mining, energy, agro-processing, textiles, health, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure development and tourism.
“I encourage more exchange of high level visits between our two countries which would form the basis for political, economic and social engagement and help identify opportunities for enhanced cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral levels,” Mr. Kaziya said.