Zambia has some governance challenges – German envoy

GERMANY has told the government in case of any misuse of funds, the full misapplied sum would be reimbursed.

During the government-to-government negotiations that took place between November 27 and 28 in Lusaka, Germany highlighted its zero-tolerance approach to corruption in all development programming and expressed strong concerns about recent cases of misapplication of donor funds.

On its part, the Zambian government stressed its commitment to address corruption in all its forms and to implement public financial management reforms.

It was agreed that all Zambian-German programmes would “focus on strengthening accountability and transparency for better service delivery for citizens.”

According to a joint press release on Zambian-German bilateral negotiation on Development Cooperation issued by Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba and Head of Division for Southern Africa head of German Delegation Alois Schneider yesterday, Germany committed approximately K850 million to Zambia to cover the period 2019-2020.

The funding focuses on good financial governance, civil society participation, support to the decentralisation process, renewable energy, capacity building in the water sector as well as on HIV/AIDS prevention.

In addition, special funds are being provided: 10 million euros for supporting Congolese refugees and host communities and up to 20.1 million euros for assisting agricultural development and nutrition.

“The German side emphasized that new commitments for investments in the water sector could be stepped up again if an audit of a rural water programme was concluded and – in case of any misuse of funds – the full misapplied sum would be reimbursed. Concerns regarding governance, particularly in the water sector, had led to a slight reduction of commitments,” reads the statement in part. “As Zambia is at high risk of debt distress, it was agreed that for this year’s commitment, German bilateral aid will be provided exclusively via grants and that GRZ would implement measures to reduce the fiscal deficit, maintain a sustainable debt position and safeguard the vulnerable. It was discussed that as funds are scarce, it was important to make wise and efficient use of the available resources with emphasis on ‘value for money’. Both sides agreed that strong cooperation with the IMF was important.”

The duo stated the German delegation introduced the “Marshall plan with Africa” and the G20 Compact with Africa which were based on the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

“Mutual commitments are at the core of this new kind of cooperation. When partner countries qualify as reform partners, they can receive additional funding. While Zambia currently has some governance challenges, it was agreed by both sides that Zambia has the potential to become a reform partner in future, if economic and political reforms were implemented and governance enhanced,” stated Yamba and Schneider.

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