The UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) has announced Steve Beel as its new country head, taking over from Mark Richardson effective October 28, 2019.

According to a statement, Monday, Beel currently leads the economic development section and has worked in Zambia since 2017, with his previous roles in the private and public sectors having included working for a global infrastructure investor based in Hong Kong.

“The UK’s DfID has announced that their current country Head, Mark Richardson, will return to the UK at the end of October after the end of his posting in Zambia. His successor as Head of Office will be Steve Beel, who currently leads on economic development and has worked in Zambia since 2017. Mr Beel, whose previous roles in the private and public sectors have included working for a global infrastructure investor based in Hong Kong and running an energy focussed PPP Unit in the UK, will formally take over on 28th October,” read the statement.

“The focus of the UK development effort is supporting the Government of Zambia to accelerate poverty reduction, through better financing and delivery of basic services, and driving economic development, particularly job creation.”

And Richardson said he was proud of the work DfID had done in Zambia to reduce poverty.

“I am proud of the work that DfID has done in Zambia to reduce poverty, whilst also increasing our role in economic development and prosperity. I have enjoyed working with the many partners and people who are part of DfID’s work here, and travelling to each of Zambia’s provinces to see the real impact of our work on the ground,” said Richardson.

Will Eckersley will take over as DfID’s Deputy Head in Zambia and comes from working in the UK on international climate finance, according to the statement.

In recent years, DfID have been active in supporting the development of the social cash transfer mechanisms in government as well as supporting a range of programmes across the health, education and agriculture sectors.

DfID also funds the Conservation Farming Union (CFU), working at the forefront of building climate resilience among small-scale farmers, the Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) entity, which works on financial inclusion and the Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ), which supports SME development and access to finance.

DfID leads the UK government’s international development assistance, globally, and has a strong history of support to Zambia through a range of bilateral programmes as well as being a major contributor to other organisations working in Zambia, including the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Green Climate Fund.