ZAMBIAN-GERMAN BILATERAL NEGOTIATION ON DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION
25TH OF NOVEMBER 2022
Government-to-Government Negotiations between Germany and Zambia successfully concluded: Germany strengthens Zambia in its reform course.
German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze: “Our development cooperation with Zambia has a double effect: on the one hand, it supports President Hakainde Hichilema's democratic reform agenda. At the same time, it strengthens southern Africa as a whole – a region that has great development potential – with Zambia playing an important role as a bridge to Central and East Africa.”
Immediately after taking office, President Hichilema began introducing key reforms. Today, the media and civil society in Zambia enjoy more freedom. In addition, the influence of the country´s once powerful and often violent party cadres has been diminished. The new government also wants to abolish the death penalty. It aims also to eliminate the previously frequently used penalization for “defamation of the president”.
Many civil society groups praise Zambia's new course, but also call on the government to implement the goals it has set itself for democratic reforms, respect for human rights and the fight against corruption faster and more comprehensively. The BMZ specifically supports Zambia in combating the high national debt through better financial management and in mitigating the consequences of climate change, especially for the poorer population.
Combating the national debt: Zambia became insolvent two years ago. Shortly after the democratic presidential election on August 12, 2021, the election winner, President Hichilema, was able to negotiate an initial agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). A support package from the IMF and the World Bank followed in mid-2022. A debt restructuring process is currently underway within the framework of the G20, in which China is also taking part as one of the largest creditors. Private creditors are also included. Although Germany is not a bilateral creditor to Zambia, as a long-standing partner it also has a great interest in positive economic development in the country. In order to enable Zambia to generate more income to deal with the debt crisis, the Federal Republic of Germany, together with the EU and the USA, is supporting the reform of state financial management - for example by establishing a more efficient tax administration and more transparent planning of the state budget.
Climate protection and climate adaptation: Zambia is actively strengthening its engagement in climate policy. Most Zambians earn their living with smallscale agriculture. A below average or entirely failed annual rainy season, which is becoming more and more common, hits them particularly hard. The BMZ supports farmers in adapting to the new climatic conditions with innovative approaches, especially in Zambia´s dry south. Smallholders are trained to “harvest” precious rainwater, to collect it carefully and use it in a more targeted manner, for example through water-saving cultivation methods.