THE African Development Fund on Tuesday approved $11.1 million to support Zambia’s public finance and economic management as part of efforts to restore fiscal stability and improve livelihoods in the middle-income Southern African nation.
The copper producing country is pursuing reforms to stabilize its economy, particularly, to rein in a widening public debt partly due to commodity price shocks, drought and depreciation of its local currency.
The project is designed to help unlock Zambia’s economic growth potential through improving capacity to manage public resources. It will help to strengthen institutional capacity in macro-fiscal and debt management, development planning, public investment management, monitoring and evaluation, and statistics.
The Bank’s Executive Directors approved the loan during a session at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, amid expectations it would be used efficiently to strengthen systems and build knowledge through skills transfer, thereby boosting public sector capacity and ensuring sustainability.
Direct beneficiaries of the four-year project, spanning 2019–2022, will be staff of key institutions responsible for public finance, economic management, development planning and statistics.
In approving the loan, the directors welcomed the project and noted that it would complement the Bank’s interventions and support for debt sustainability and macro-economic stability on the continent.
Since commencing operations in Zambia in 1971, the African Development Bank has committed more than $2bn to public sector infrastructure projects including agriculture, industry, water and sanitation, energy and transport.
Additional support from the Bank, valued at around $150 million, has been allocated to the country’s private sector. Zambia also benefited from debt relief valued at $452 million under the HIPC and the Multilateral Debt Initiatives.