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Tunis, 29 Oct 2008 – The African Development Bank, through its soft loan affiliate, the African Development Fund, on Wednesday approved 15 million Units of Account*, approximately US$ 23.4 million, as Zambia’s Second Poverty Reduction Budget Support Loan (PRBS II).
The loan will finance a two year programme to help Zambia implement key aspects of its Fifth National Development Plan. Primary beneficiaries will be Zambian businesses and the nation at large.
The funding is expected to contribute towards Zambia’s economic growth and poverty reduction by helping the country create an enabling environment for private sector development and improving public finance management through financial management reforms.
An enabling business environment is designed to enable Zambia’s private sector to take the lead role in generating economic growth in the country. Reforms in the management of public finances are designed to improved budget preparation and execution throughout the government.
A stable political environment, vibrant civil society groups, good relations with the donor community, a commitment to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a comprehensive donor coordination framework have continued to draw investment into Zambia.
Improved macro-economic policy management in recent years has also enabled Zambia to benefit from debt cancellations under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).
The African Development Bank Group financed the Zambia’s PRBS I and the Support for Fiscal Transparency and Accountability programmes among others. The current programme is based on lessons learned from these two as well as other ongoing programmes in the country.
Progress in the implementation of PRBS II will be monitored through the Bank’s Country Office in the Zambian capital, Lusaka.
The loan, to be disbursed in two equal tranches, was approved on the assumption that Zambia will continue with its current economic management.
The Bank Group started operations in Zambia in 1971. To date, the Group’s cumulative commitment in the country stands at US$ 953 million for 72 operations.
1UA = US$1.55722 as 29/10/2008