Zambia: Launch of the African Economic Outlook 2009 and Africa Competitiveness Report 2009
Lusaka, 31 July 2009 - Zambia’s Finance and National Planning Minister, Honorable Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane has commended the African Development Bank for its continued effort of updating African Governments about economic social development progress on the continent. He said this in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy, Hon. Chileshe Kapwepwe at the launch of the 2009 African Economic Outlook (AEO) and the 2009 Africa Competitiveness Reports in Lusaka, Zambia. The Minister observed that the current economic management challenges facing the continent as highlighted in the reports that are largely attributed to the on-going economic crisis require appropriate policy response and a joint effort between the Government’s and their cooperating partners.
The function was also addressed by Mr. Themba Bhebhe, O.I.C Zambia Country Office, Guido Bilancini, First Secretary at the Embassy of Italy in his capacity as OECD Chair and Ms. J. Kargbo, Director, UNECA Southern Africa Office based in Lusaka.
While commenting on the presentation and timeliness of the launch, Dr. Caleb Fundanga, the Governor of the Bank of Zambia advised of the need for further dialogue around the major findings of these reports between the Government, the private sector and cooperating partners. Regarding the impact of the financial crisis, Dr. Fundanga reported that Zambia’s economic situation has made remarkable improvement since the end of 2008; characterized by increased copper production and a rise in global copper prices. The workshop also attracted a number of dignitaries including several Ambassadors, and High Commissioners accredited to Zambia, in-country Heads of Missions and Agencies, as well as, representatives of the private sector.
Mr. Bhebhe reiterated the Bank’s commitment towards the development of knowledge services given their critical importance towards the policy decision making processes of the regional member countries. He thanked the Government of Zambia for hosting the workshop. He recognized and applauded the continued support and collaboration between the African Development Bank, OECD, UNECA, World Bank and European Union in the preparation and dissemination of these important reports. He reported that the Bank Group has put in place financial instruments that will assist regional member countries in responding to the impact of the financial crisis.