THE European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen its relations with Zambia to enhance its economic development.
Speaking when he received letters of credence from Zambia’s Ambassador to Belgium and Permanent Representative to the EU, Esther Munalula Nkandu, EU Council president Charles Michel said the EU was committed to building strong ties with Zambia specifically in the area of trade as well as other areas of mutual benefit.
Michel explained that the EU was aware of Zambia’s important role in the Great Lakes Region, hence the desire to collaborate with the southern African state.
He said the EU was keen on partnering with Zambia in the energy sector in the light of the power deficit caused by the drastic climate change.
Michel said the EU had devised deliberate strategies to ensure that partnerships with Zambia and Africa were those that would be sustainable and beneficial to all parties involved.
In relation to the upcoming AU-EU summit to be held in Brussels this year, Michel said he looks forward to meeting with President Edgar Lungu during the summit.
And Ambassador Nkandu lobbied the EU for partnership in value addition of commodities and capacity building towards the same, enhancement of trade within the southern region and with the EU, and capacity building in alternative energy sources given the impact of climate change.
Ambassador Nkandu further lobbied for the creation of a one-stop-shop at the border post between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo and also appealed for the enhancement of other trade corridors that connect Zambia with its neighbours given its advantageous geographical location.
Ambassador Nkandu appealed to Michel to consider other earlier commitments made by the EU during the last EU delegation to Zambia in 2019 which included among others, empowering the girl child and support to education, energy, agriculture and economic governance.
The Ambassador, who is the first envoy to present letters of credence to Michel since he took up the presidency of the EU Council last month, said she remains optimistic of continued collaboration with the EU towards the development of the nation.
This is according to Phyllis Chilekwa, first secretary for press and public relations at Zambia’s embassy in Brussels.