World Bank to provide $170 million to Zambia
LUSAKA: Global lender, the World Bank pledged to provide more than USD 170 million to Zambia for economic diversification and employment creation chiefly in the agribusiness to pump up government's efforts to grow the economy in the Southern African State.
World Bank Group president Mr Robert Zoë lick recently visited Zambia, among other African countries that include Ghana to impress upon the government's effort to grow the economy that has u-turned in recent years, recording significant growth in various sectors including infrastructure development. Mr Zoë lick said he was impressed with Zambia's urge to foster economic growth and fight poverty, resulting in the country recording more than six percent of Gross Domestic Product with inflation scaling to a single digit after more than 25 years.
In a statement by the World Bank office in Lusaka the financing will be intended to enhance diversification and employment creation in agribusinesses. The World Bank's board of executive directors is expected to examine USD 115 million in financing for water infrastructure such as dams and irrigation canals in March 2011 that will benefit about 70,000 Zambian smallholder producers.
The bank's private sector arm, International Finance Corporation, is also investing USD 56 million to enhance diversification and employment creation in Zambia's agribusinesses.
Mr Zoë lick, who was in the country from December 1618 and noted that Zambia has potential to increase productivity in the agricultural sector, where poverty is concentrated, and become regionally competitive by reducing the costs of exporting local produce and expanding access to energy. He said Broader based, more inclusive economic growth is key for Zambia to achieve its goal of becoming a prosperous middle-income economy by 2030.
Mr Zoë lick who met President Rupiah Banda, civil society and stakeholders in the mining sector, among other players, pledged the bank's continued support to Zambia as the country expands irrigation infrastructure to boost agricultural productivity and enhance food security. There is need to explore ways of tapping the country's hydroelectric potential, improve transportation and strengthen regional integration to help overcome the disadvantages of being land-locked. -PB News