By Derrick Silimina
The European Investment Bank Vice President, Thomas Östros , is slated to make three days’ business and agriculture investment visit to Zambia.
Zambia is the EIB’s largest country of operation in southern Africa. Over the past five decades, the EIB, the world’s largest international public bank, has provided more than EUR 1.2 billion for priority business, water, energy, and transport investment across the country.
The EIB Vice President will make a three-day official visit to Zambia next week and his engagement in Lusaka will reinforce the strong partnership between Zambia and the European Union and marks the first high-level EIB visit to Zambia since the launch of EIB Global.
During his visit from 25th to 27th September, Östros will be accompanied by technical and financing experts from the EIB’s regional hub in Pretoria and Luxembourg headquarters, as well as the European Union Delegation in Zambia, will meet Zambian political, banking and business leaders, and international partners.
Speaking ahead of the visit in a statement, Östros said, “Zambia is a key partner for the
European Investment Bank. During my visit to Lusaka I look forward to demonstrating our strengthened support for priority investment that improves lives and enhances economic opportunities across Zambia, and to confirming future opportunities through our new dedicated financing arm EIB Global. This visit builds on decades of close partnership backing private sector, water, energy and transport investment and will unlock new investment opportunities in the months and years ahead.”
And Ambassador-Designate of the European Union Ambassador to Zambia Karolina Stasiak welcomed the upcoming visit on behalf of the Delegation of the European Union to Zambia, saying, “The visit of Vice President Thomas Östros and EIB colleagues reflects the deepening cooperation between Zambia and the European Union. It underscores Team Europe’s shared commitment to advancing economic growth and development in Zambia and across southern Africa and opens up new opportunities in key sectors, such as access to finance for sustainable agriculture.”
She noted that Zambia is the first country to benefit from EUR 400m pan-African agriculture investment initiative and during the visit, Vice President Östros will formally sign the first financing under the EIB’s groundbreaking pan-African agricultural and agribusiness financing programme.
This landmark agreement, made with Zambian partner First Capital Bank and backed by the European Union, is set to unlock substantial investment opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness across the country and demonstrates the EIB’s strengthened support for agricultural development and food security in Zambia and throughout Africa.
As Lusaka hosts EIB Southern Africa SME Banking and Microfinance Academy On Wednesday, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane and Vice President Ostros will open the EIB Southern Africa SME Banking and Finance Academy and more than 100 regional banking leaders and international partners will attend the Lusaka academy, the 7 th annual event, aimed at promoting financial inclusion and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
Lusaka will also host the unveiling of the EIB 2023 Financing in Africa report, which provides valuable insights into banking and access to finance across the continent. Building on five decades of support for investment across Zambia.
The European Investment Bank has supported public and private investment across Zambia since 1978. This includes improving agricultural cold storage, financing pharmaceutical and textile production and horticulture, upgrading the Itezhi-Tezhi hydropower scheme, Kafue-Livingstone electricity transmission line and electricity distribution in Lusaka.
The EIB also backed recent rehabilitation of the Great East Road and Great North Road, financed large scale solar power at Ngonye and helped to improve water and sanitation services in Lusaka, Mufulira, Chingola and Chililabombwe.