The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) has commended the Government of Zambia for its commitment to successfully host the Bank’s 2016 Annual Meetings next month. The preparations for the hosting of the AfDB meetings, which will take place from May 23 to 27 in the capital Lusaka have reached an advanced stage.
“We have seen Government’s commitment at the highest level and we are impressed with the preparations so far. We look forward to the all the delegates coming to enjoy the hospitality that the country has to offer,” AfDB Acting Vice-President for Corporate Services, Nnenna Nwabufo, said Wednesday at a joint AfDB-Zambia press conference in Lusaka.
Nwabufo, who is leading the AfDB Annual Meetings mission in the country, said that that the Bank has seen the authorities’ commitment to ensuring that the meetings are a success. Each year an estimated 2,500 delegates from around the world attend the meetings, which bring together African and external actors to share ideas and experiences on mapping the future of Africa in an inclusive and sustainable way.
This year’s meeting will be focus on “Energy and climate change” – a timely theme for the world and particularly Africa, given that about 645 million Africans do not have access to electricity, 700 million have no access to clean cooking energy, and 600,000 die each year from indoor pollution from reliance on biomass for cooking.
Zambia Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba, represented the host country at the Wednesday press conference. Yamba said preparations for the meetings have reached an advanced stage, adding that the overall implementation of the preparation plan is on track and facilities will be completed on schedule. “We have been working closely with the AfDB in this process and also in liaison with private sector organizations,” he said.
Since 1971, the Bank has committed more than USD 2 billion to Zambia. The Bank’s support is directed towards public sector infrastructure projects in agriculture, industry, water and sanitation, energy, the social sector (education and health) and transport. Additional support valued at USD 80 million has gone towards the country’s private sector. Zambia also benefited from debt relief valued at USD 452 million under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and the Multilateral Debt Initiatives. As at end of December 2015, the Bank’s portfolio in Zambia consisted of 19 ongoing and approved operations (16 national and three multinational projects) with a total value of 633 million Units of Account (USD 886 million).
For more information on the AfDB Annual Meetings, #AfDBAM2016, visit: www.afdb.org/am