President Hakainde Hichilema says Zambians should embrace the World Bank as a partner and not a foreign entity as it is perceived by some sections of society.
The President said the World Bank has been a partner to the country for many years and the misconceptions about its role in the country need to be cleared and the narrative changed.
“We are saying to the people of Zambia that the World Bank is not a foreign entity. The World Bank and the IMF these are not foreign entities, these are our entities and I think there’s some abuse on the definition of what the World Bank is, “he said.
Speaking at State House yesterday when World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Victoria Kwakwa paid a courtesy call on him, the Head of State thanked the World Bank for its continued support to the country and expressed optimism for a stronger partnership going forward.
He thanked Dr. Kwakwa for visiting Zambia just a few days after assuming office and said Zambia could leverage on her experience in working with the Asian economies to share knowledge and practices that could benefit the country in its development path.
“We want to express our appreciation that we are one of the first stops for you to visit in your new role. Especially that you are coming from working in a region that we admire a lot, who has difficulties but managed to develop their economies in a short period of time and improve the lives of their people. Looking at the natural resource endowment of this country and their natural resource base. We have better. We do not want to reinvent the wheel but we are looking up to you and your team to work with us and shorten the learning curve to save time and resources” he said
President Hichilema also highlighted that government is prioritizing improvements in technology as a means to address a lot of challenges in delivery of social services and has appealed to the World Bank to work with the country in its plans to improve the digital space.
And Visiting World Bank Vice President for Eastern and South Africa, Victoria Kwakwa has hailed government for pursuing economic reforms at a difficult time nationally and globally and has pledged the World Bank’s support for the benefit of all Zambians.
“We want to congratulate you and the Ministry of Finance for the reforms that you’re pursuing at a very difficult time for the country and globally and using this as a time to reform shows political will and we want to commit our continued support to ensure that you are successful and create value for the people of Zambia” she said
Dr. Kwakwa stressed that the World Bank is equally prioritizing digitalization as a critical tool that drives productivity, offer more social services and help prevent social ills such as corruption.
Dr. Kwakwa is in the Country on a familiarisation tour of the Country as she assumed her role on 1st of July 2022.