World Bank picks Zambia to pilot human capital project

The World Bank has picked Zambia to become one of the pilot locations for the human capital project, an initiative aimed at scaling-up access to quality education, health, and skills development.

In a statement availed by Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta, Thursday, this came to light when the Zambian delegation held an information exchange meeting with World Bank vice president for the African Region, Hafez Ghanem, at the ongoing Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington, DC.

According to Kandeta, the move has been welcomed by Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe and her counterpart Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme.

Mwanakatwe, Zambia’s delegation leader, thanked the World Bank for its expressed commitment to support the further development of hydro, solar and other sustainable energy sources.

“Apart from sales of Mukula timber, the land titling programme, and enhancement of other revenue channels, we are targeting energy exports as an alternative revenue source for the medium to long-term,” said Mwanakatwe in the statement, adding that the pursued path is expected to help enhance foreign exchange inflows for the country.

The meeting with Ghanem also touched on matters related to debt management, fiscal reforms, and the recently approved Country Partnership Framework, which will be launched in Lusaka in a few weeks’ time.

Other focus areas were the expansion of jobs and opportunities for the rural poor; improvement of public services and social protection for job participation; and, creation of resilient public institutions.

The human capital project is targeted at harnessing human capital in order to help children grow to their full potential and become productive assets, in line with the fourth pillar of Zambia’s Seventh National Development Plan.

Meanwhile, Mwanakatwe and Chiteme both met the IMF deputy managing director Tao Zhang.

The high-level information exchange dialogue with Tao and his team focused on the Zambian economy with special emphasis on the macroeconomic landscape, debt management, fiscal consolidation, and the upcoming GRZ/IMF Article 4 Consultations scheduled to be held in Lusaka.

Members of the high-level Zambian delegation included: Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba; Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for Finance and Economic Development Christopher Mvunga and Bank of Zambia Governor Dr Denny Kalyalya, among others.

While in Washington, DC, the delegation will attend and participate in events, meetings, seminars and sessions of both the Fund and the World Bank Group.

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