FRANCE and Zambia have signed a 500,000 Euros financing grant agreement for study and capacity building to projects of mutual interest for the two countries.
The funds from the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) is earmarked for capacity building in agriculture, access to basic services, including water and sanitation and solid waste management and renewable energy.
Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba signed on behalf of the Zambian Government while AFD regional director Martha Sochas signed on behalf of the French government, with French ambassador Emmanuel Cohet signing as a witness at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance yesterday.
Speaking at the function, Mr. Yamba said Zambia was grateful to the French government for its support in political, economic and cultural fields as well as promotion of human rights and press freedom.
He said the grant by the French government was an indication that the bilateral relationship of the two countries was cordial especially that the funding was coming at the backdrop of three other major projects financed by France.
He said Zambia was indebted to France for financing three major projects in three years such as the Great East Road, the Itezhi-tezhi and the Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company projects.
He said Zambia will ensure that all the funds that remitted by France will be accounted for through prudent, efficient and effective utilisation.
And Ms. Sochas said the AFD portfolio was expanding in Zambia as the bank had provided several long-term loans to Zambia, which included support for investment in the road, energy and water sectors.
She said the AFD’s main aim was to improve economic growth and improving the living conditions of the poorest regions and countries through its engagement with its private cooperating partners.
She said she was happy that AFD had extended the grant to Government and was optimistic that it would consider increasing its support to Zambia both in the public and private sectors.