LUSAKA Province Minister Bowman Lusambo says people that visited Lusaka three years ago will now mistake it for Los Angeles because President Edgar Lungu has transformed the city’s infrastructure.

And United States Chargé d’Affaires interim David Young says he is looking forward to an interesting election next year.

Speaking when Young paid a courtesy call on him in Lusaka, Wednesday, Lusambo claimed Lusaka now looked like Los Angeles because of President Lungu’s hard work.

“Zambia, as you are aware, we are very politically stable. We have enjoyed the democracy, which our forefathers introduced in the early 90s, and we have been following that path from that time. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu was elected through the ballot and we respect democracy just like the United States of America. 2021 general election, first of all, I want to congratulate you, to congratulate the incoming President of the United States of America, His Excellency Mr Biden and the Vice-President (Kamala Harris). As you are in the States of America, it is not about ‘I’, it is about the people. Same applies to Zambia; for us, it is about the people, we do respect democracy and the rule of law. And come 2021, the people will decide, who will be the next President of the Republic of Zambia,” Lusambo said.

“But what I can assure you is that, President Edgar Lungu, since he was elected as President for the Republic of Zambia in 2016, our job has been on the path of improving the living standards of our people in terms of health, education and many other sectors. Today, Lusaka is a different story altogether. The people who visited Lusaka three, four years ago, if they come today, they will think they are in Los Angeles, in Washington (D.C.) because of the road network! These are the things His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu promised the people of Zambia that we are going to transform Zambia together and we are transforming Zambia together.”

He thanked the US government for its support in the health and education sector.

“The government of his Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, appreciates the cooperation between the US and the Government of Zambia. The Government of the United States has been supporting Zambia in many sectors: education sector, health and many other sectors, which we have seen a lot of support from the Government of the United States. And for us, through His Excellency, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the Government of the Republic of Zambia that is why we are here. I am representing President Edgar Chagwa Lungu as you are representing His Excellency, Mr Donald Trump as the President of the United States. For me, I will assure you that as a province, we will continue discussion in areas of development, especially where education, health and agriculture is concerned,” said Lusambo.

“Zambia from its inception, we are a country depending on mining and His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, he has been trying to diversify the economy from mining dependency to agriculture and many other sectors like aquaculture, forestry and tourism. So, for me, knowing your government will continue to help Zambia in the path of diversification. Agriculture is a sector, which we want, as a government, to be the number one sector in terms of job creation, food security and the surplus we can export to other neighbouring countries. Knowing very well that Zambia is strategically positioned, we are almost at the centre. We have markets with our neighbouring countries, including DRC.”

And Young said that he was looking forward to next year’s general election.

“I just want to affirm the United States’ very strong cooperation, our friendship, our partnership with Zambia. You are a wonderful country, again, as we met at the World AIDS day event days ago, just to affirm our strong cooperation to fight HIV/AIDS, to work on health cooperation. The work we have done here in Lusaka with the Millennium Challenge Account to help with the water sanitation, and drainage issues. You know, we work closely on education, I just had a meeting yesterday with the Ministry of General Education and emphasised the close ties; we have to built a better educated and healthier citizenry for tomorrow, the boys and girls who will be the leaders of tomorrow for Zambia. You have a wonderful country, it is a real privilege to get together. I look forward to hearing a little bit about your opportunities and challenges here in Lusaka and what you deal with,” said Young.

“I know the rains are a blessing, but they are also a challenge for a big city like Lusaka, with the drainage issues around. We, of course, are very excited about the deep cooperation we have between our countries. You might have heard we just came through a big presidential election in America, we will have a new president next month, President (Joe) Biden and Vice-President Harris and we look forward to 2021 and what will be a very interesting election here in Zambia. So, as fellow democracies, we have so much in common and I just want to emphasise, again, our partnership and my appreciation for engaging with your government and just what an honour it is to serve here in Zambia and be your citizen here in the city of Lusaka.”