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Lusaka – Zambian officials and economic experts from seven European Union member nations began meetings on Monday on how the poor southern African country can best manage its loans and aid.
The donor nations – Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – provide over 50 percent of aid to Zambia.
Aid to Zambia focuses on fighting poverty, Aids, and improving the health and education sectors, said Ron Keller, the UK’s representative at the three-day meeting.
In August 2002, Zambia’s already fragile economy suffered a major blow when mining giant Anglo American announced it was pulling out of its copper mines.
The donor nations said they supported President Levy Mwanawasa‘s recent crackdown on government corruption.
“Corruption can distort the nation’s economic growth. It can also discredit government and lead to the waste of resources. We are cheered, therefore, by the stand taken by your government on corruption as it will ensure that tax payers money is put to good use,” said Keller.
The meeting was focusing on co-ordinating donor practices and the review of aid policies for Zambia.
Other areas to be tackled include information management, civil service reform, budget support and maintenance of funding. – Sapa-AP