EUROPEAN Union Ambassador to Zambia Jacek Jankowski says the EU is looking forward to engaging stakeholders on the implementation of recommendations to further strengthen electoral processes.

Speaking during the Europe Day celebrations, Monday, Ambassador Jankowski said the EU had issued recommendations on how to further strengthen electoral processes and was looking forward to engaging with all stakeholders on their implementation.

“In the last few months, we have seen many important developments in EU-Zambia relations. Let me mention just a few, starting with the last elections. Zambian people truly impressed us: we saw a huge turnout and then a peaceful transfer of power. On the invitation of the Zambian government, the EU deployed an Election Observation Mission, which issued recommendations on how to further strengthen electoral processes. We are looking forward to engaging with all stakeholders on the implementation of these
recommendations,” he said.

“The EU high-level mission to Zambia in October last year confirmed our 360-degree partnership with the new government. In February, we saw a very successful visit of H.E. President Hichilema to Brussels and his participation in the European Union – African Union Summit. This was a major event and our leaders announced an Africa-Europe Investment Package of 150 billion EUR that will support our common ambition for sustainable development. Several successful high-level meetings that the President had on this occasion with European leaders reaffirmed the importance of Zambia as a key regional and continental player in Africa.”

He said the recently launched European Cooperation Programme would be a powerful tool to engage with Zambia on its development trajectory.

“In March, the EU and its member states launched a big European Cooperation Programme with Zambia. This program will frame our partnership for the next 7 years, with nearly 300 million EUR allocated only for the initial four years. It will be a powerful tool to engage with Zambia on its development trajectory under the famous 3 Rs: REPAIR, RECOVER and REVIVE the economy,” said Ambassador Jankowski.

“Next week, on the 18th and 19th of May, the EU and its Member States will join forces with the government of Zambia and host in
Lusaka the EU-Zambia Economic Forum under the auspices of H.E. President Hakainde Hichilema and with the participation of the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Janusz Wojciechowski. I wish to emphasize our long-standing partnership with COMESA. COMESA is one of the significant driving forces and building blocks of the African continental integration project that the European Union strongly supports. We actively engage with COMESA on delivering on its ambitious goals.”

And Water Development and Sanitation Minister Mike Mposha thanked the EU for the financial and technical assistance it had continued to render to Zambia.

“I wish to express the appreciation of the Zambian government to the European Union for the financial and technical assistance it has continued to render to Zambia. I am pleased to note the support is in line with the aspirations of the Zambian government in priority sectors such as energy, agriculture, health, governance and climate change, just to mention a few. Indeed, this support will go a long way in supplementing efforts of the government to implement its national developmental agenda as envisaged in the country’s vision 2030,” he said.

Mposha said climate change remained a serious challenge which required global solidarity.

“You will agree with me that climate change continues to be on the agenda of various international fora, due to its devastating impact on global weather conditions and subsequently on agriculture and energy, which affect economic development. The effects of rising temperatures, inconsistent rain patterns, as well as flooding and droughts have become a harsh reality, especially for African economies which are mostly agricultural driven and heavily dependent on rainfall,” he said.

“Climate change, therefore, remains a serious challenge which requires global solidarity and concerted efforts of the international community, including the European Union to combat climate change while seeking practical and cost effective measures to mitigate the negative effects of the scourge in Zambia and the world over. Zambia, therefore, seeks to implement the provisions of the Paris agreement which calls for all countries to reduce the carbon emission levels through the use of clean energy such as solar, wind and hydro power to mention a few. Allow me, at this juncture, to appreciate the EU’s contribution of the Green Climate Fund which assists developing countries like Zambia mitigate this scourge.”

Mposha said he was hopeful that the partnership would open greater opportunities.

“As Zambia prepares to host the 4th African Union Mid Year Coordinating Summit in July 2022, I wish to note with satisfaction the positive outcomes of the 6th European Union-African Union Summit, held in Brussels, in February, 2022, during which our two continents committed to a consolidated partnership on issues of common interest, including; peace and security, migration, trade and investment and COVID-19. I am confident that this partnership will henceforth open greater opportunities for Africa and the EU towards the achievement of our shared goals to improve delivery on global public good, in line with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and AU Agenda 2063,” said Mposha.