In a bid to restructure its partnership with the African Continent, United States Vice-President Kamala Harris visited Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia during her nine-day African tour.
During the two-day visit to Zambia, it was announced that the United States Government will provide more than US$505 million in bilateral assistance during the 2024 fiscal year, aimed at enhancing cooperation with the country.
Zambia stands to benefit in several ways from this assistance, including debt restructuring, trade and economic support, governance support, health support, and renewable energy infrastructure expansion.
The United States Government has pledged to help Zambia with its debt restructuring efforts, which have faced delays with external creditors, including China and Eurobond holders.
Additionally, the USA and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been pushing China to sign a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Zambia, and the US Vice-President’s pledge is expected to heighten the existing efforts to restructure Zambia’s debt to steer its economic transformation agenda.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will also be signed between Zambia’s Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry and the United States Department of Commerce to develop and implement commercial projects of strategic priority.
The MOU will stipulate the mutually accepted expectations of the two Governments and provide technical support and capacity building, which will provide more trade opportunities and incentives for Zambia under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The United States Government intends to launch a Fertilizer Fund at the cost of US$1.5 million, aimed at addressing the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war and the global food security crisis by helping farmers access alternatives to Russian-sourced fertilizer. It will also help to facilitate the movement of foodstuffs across borders, particularly in Southern and East Africa regional blocks.
The United States will also support the expansion and reliability of Zambia’s renewable energy infrastructure through more than US$1 million in grant funding for a feasibility study that will help develop a utility-scale battery energy storage system. This will enhance the country’s efforts towards providing alternative energy sources.
Governance support will also receive a boost, with the United States Government pledging US$10 million towards the country’s decentralization. The funds will enhance Zambia’s fiscal decentralization, and promote women’s political participation and leadership through the provision of US$3.5 million to support Zambian civil society organizations.
The United States Government also plans to contribute US$3 million to enable USAID’s participation in a new four-year Strengthening Good Financial Governance project with the Government of the Republic of Zambia, aimed at strengthening the country’s financial management systems.
And the United States Government’s support will also provide Zambia with critical assistance that will help it navigate the challenges in the path of its economic transformation agenda.