The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a two-year update and extension of Zambia’s 2017-2021 Country Strategy Paper through to 2023, according to a report released on 14 January 2022.
According to the report, “an update of the CSP and its extension is necessary as Zambia’s new medium-term development plan, the 8th National Development Plan, is still under preparation and could be completed in the first quarter of 2022. It is also important to await possible policy changes that may occur after the country’s general elections held on 12 August 2021.”
The document’s main objective is to reduce poverty and vulnerability through a dynamic and sustainable private sector that creates jobs. The paper has two priorities: support for infrastructure development and private sector development.
For infrastructure, the Bank will support ongoing projects to build operational efficiency in the sector, create a better environment for private sector participation, and invest in renewable energy to boost production and productivity across the economy.
In the water and sanitation sector, using ongoing operations, the focus will be on strengthening innovations in decentralised sanitation and hygiene promotion, boosting progress in rural water supply. The Bank will consolidate current interventions in transport, focusing on key corridors, including developing a north-south corridor, complemented by the Mpulungu port project and rural connectivity through improved feeder roads.
Expected results include improved access to water and sanitation (75%, up from 68% in 2015), halving the incidence of water-borne diseases, and increasing sanitation coverage to 52%, up from 44% in 2015. In addition, electricity generation is expected to increase by 1,600 Megawatts, strengthening connectivity to regional and national markets.
To support the private sector, the African Development Bank will focus on enterprise development and agriculture to create jobs and improve food security through increased productivity and agricultural value chain development. The Bank will also continue to support improvements in the business climate to attract private sector capital that can help diversify the economy.
The Bank plans to strengthen the capacity of the Zambia Development Agency and the Public-Private Partnership Unit to improve the business environment, commercial competitiveness, and capacity building to promote bankable partnerships. Through initiatives such as the AFAWA programme, the African Development Bank will continue to work with the Zambia National Commercial Bank and the Central Bank of Zambia to address the financing challenges of women entrepreneurs, unlock entrepreneurial capacity, and transform financial markets to lend to women.
The expected outcomes of this second objective are threefold: an improved business environment to attract private investors, enhanced production through stronger linkages between rural production areas and urban markets, including increased exports, and the creation of consolidated agricultural value chains to enhance productivity and improve nutrition.