UK Minister for Africa Vicky Ford visited Zambia from 5 to 7 April 2022 to increase the UK's and Zambia's cooperation on how they are working together
On her first visit to Zambia since her appointment as Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford saw how the UK is supporting Zambia’s education system in order to further remove the barriers preventing children – especially teenage girls – from accessing formal education.
The Minister visited Mulola School in Kapete District, where she saw how international support on sanitation, nutrition and sexual and reproductive health is important to removing the non-financial barriers that can prevent the poorest from getting the education they need.
Minister Ford also launched British Investment International (BII) in Zambia, in conjunction with the BII CEO Nick O’Donohoe. BII is the new British development finance institution that will invest billions in infrastructure and technology in low and middle income countries across Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
During the launch, she announced that the UK mining company Moxico Resources is going to invest an additional $100m in developing its Mimbula and Kalengwa mine projects and that, through InfracoAfrica, UK aid would be used to increase access for Zambian households and businesses to clean, green energy.
Minister Ford said:
Over the past 2 days, I’ve seen the breadth of the partnership between the UK and Zambia. Amongst many areas, our governments are working together to improve the lives of those in poverty and, increasing the opportunities for both Zambian and UK companies to invest in Zambia’s growing economy.
Zambia’s long history of supporting peace and democracy continues today. The resounding vote for respect of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law that millions of Zambians made last year has demonstrated yet again, their country’s position as a beacon of peace and democracy in the region and beyond. I’m committed to our 2 nations, the UK and Zambia, continuing to work together on protecting and promoting our shared values in the international sphere.
Through the launch of British International Investment here in Zambia, we have sent a strong message of the UK government’s commitment to building a stronger, more diversified Zambian economy. Equally, it has been my pleasure to learn more about the steps being taken by the Zambian government to deliver free education to all, and discuss how the UK continues to actively support better futures for all Zambian children.
Minister Ford attended a briefing at Lilayi Elephant Sanctuary to hear how the UK is supporting Zambian efforts to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, through the UK Army’s training of wildlife rangers at Zambia’s Kafue National Park in anti-poaching techniques.
The Minister paid a condolence visit on Thandiwe Banda, following the recent passing of Zambia’s 4th President, Rupiah Banda. During the visit, she reflected on Rupiah Banda’s long public service and his role in supporting Zambian democracy, particularly during last year’s election.
In a meeting with President Hichilema, Minister Ford reiterated the UK’s commitment to continue working with Zambia in the areas where the countries have shared values and priorities. In particular, she noted how Zambia and the UK had stood united in condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
During her visit, the Minister met with the Foreign Minister, Hon Stanley Kakubo, as well as the leader of the opposition and representatives from the Zambian business community.
The visit to Zambia was part of a regional visit by Minister Ford and included visits to Malawi and Tanzania.