By HELEN ZULU –
THE Swedish Government has so far contributed about K2 billion to Zambia for increased employment opportunities in rural and peri-urban areas, creating opportunities to start and run productive businesses.
This has been done through a results strategy 2013-2018 which was divided into three results areas with the overall objective to continue contributing to poverty reduction.
Trade, promotion and communication manager Anna Dloski said under the current results strategy for 2013-2018, approximately K2 billion had so far been disbursed to contribute to increased employment opportunities in rural and peri-urban areas while creating opportunities to start and run productive businesses.
Ms Dloski said the strategy was aimed at contributing to creating conditions for sustainable growth in Zambia, with the focus on increasing poor people’s opportunities to support themselves by obtaining work and starting and running productive businesses, and on improving the basic health of women and children.
She was speaking in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
“The main focus of the relationships is still development cooperation but Sweden would like to contribute to a sustainable long-term development, where broader relations gradually can replace direct aid and strengthen the relations between Sweden and Zambia.
“The current development partnership between Sweden and Zambia has a strong focus on contributing to increased employment opportunities in rural and peri-urban areas and to creating opportunities to start and run productive businesses.
“So far approximately K2 billion has been disbursed,” she said.
Ms Dloski said furthermore, Swedish development cooperation activities aimed to contribute to strengthening democratic accountability and poor people’s awareness of their rights.
She also said Sweden was hoping for more equal partnerships to be based on mutual interest, trade as well as new economic, social and cultural relations.
“We have a number of Swedish companies that have invested in Zambia and are active, such as SKF, Assa Abloy, Sandvik, ABB, Scania and Volvo.
“We have over the recent years had several delegations of private companies and institutions that have an interest in investing and making business in health, energy and agriculture, at the same time as contributing to poverty and job creation. This is a long-term approach,” Ms Dloski said.
She said the Swedish Embassy in Zambia would continue to encourage and promote such partnerships while remaining a big aid donor to Zambia.
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