THE CHINESE Government has given Zambia a total of US$64 million (about K366 million) for the implementation of various developmental programmes.
Of the total amount, K183 million has been provided as grant while the other half is an interest-free loan to be repaid over a period of 20 years.
Signing on behalf of Zambia, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said Government was in a hurry to double the pace of development to eradicate poverty in the shortest possible time.
He urged Zambians to work harder and supplement the external assistance from China.
“External assistance no matter how significant and well-meaning will only have meaning if it supplements local efforts,” he said.
He commended China for being an all-weather friend in the development of Zambia and being committed to addressing the under-development in Africa.
Mr Chikwanda assured the Chinese Government that the Zambian Government would make the best use of both the grant and interest free loan.
And signing on behalf of the Chinese Government, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yuxiao Zhou said the $64m given to Zambia would be used to implement projects to be discussed by the two Governments.
He said the provision of the funds showed the Chinese Government’s commitment to support Zambia’s social and economic development and that China and Zambia are good friends and reliable partners.
Mr Yuxiao said the funds were a New Year’s gift to Zambia. He said next year the Chinese Government would hand over to the Zambian Government the Lusaka stadium, the Kariba North Bank hydro power generators, and the power transmission line between Kariba and Kafue.
“The classroom building of the Confucious Institute at UNZA, China-Africa Friendship School in Munali and the Chinese Medical Team Residence near Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital are expected to commence in the first half of 2014,” he said.
In the next 10 years, China is expected to import $10 trillion, invest US$500 billion and send over 400 million tourists abroad.
“I hope Zambia will be able to get its fair share from the above mentioned business opportunity,” Mr Yuxiao said.
times of zambia