THE world’s oldest democracy, United Sates of America has nodded Zambia’s current democratic credentials and economy revival efforts.
For US ambassador to Zambia Michael Gonzales, visits by many senior government officials from USA to Zambia is proof of the strong belief and investment in Zambia’s democratic and economic revival.
Speaking during a press briefing at the American Embassy in Lusaka today, Gonzales said US government officials, who recently visited Zambia, include Vice-President Kamala Harris.
“These visits reflect a sustained cadence of consultation and collaboration among our senior most leaders, as partners, to find shared solutions to challenges that impact Zambia, the region, and the world,” Gonzales said.
In addition to the visits, Gonzales highlighted the US and Zambia’s co-hosting of the Summit for Democracy just last month, in which nations from around the world gathered to re-commit to advancing democracy in their countries.
He said the summit touched on free, fair, and transparent elections as foundational to democracy, but emphasised that elections alone do not make a democracy.
“Instead, it is accountable and responsive democratic governance that meets the needs and expectations of those governed that defines a democracy,” he added.
“Zambian people have called for a future that is punctuated by inclusive and sustainable economic development, the impartial application of the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.
An end to the cultures of corruption and impunity that have prevailed for too long, and equitable delivery of public services to enable all Zambians to envision and realise a better future.”
Gonzales was impressed with the Zambian government’s notable reforms to improve the business enabling environment, debt restructuring, and reformations of bills such as the public order act and access to information Bill.
He reiterated America’s commitment to assisting to alleviate the debt burden by engaging with other stakeholders like China to reach and the private sector to provide financial support in numerous projects.
Projects that include $7 billion in US committed for climate resilience, adaptation, and mitigation across Africa.
“The United States has made several commitments to Zambia. These aren’t just photo-ops, but meaningful actions that drive positive change on the ground.”
“When the United States makes a commitment, we deliver on it,” Gonzales said.
Meanwhile, Gonzales said the USA is impressed with th government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law.
He, however, noted some incidents of political violence, cadreism and arrests of some opposition leaders.
Gonzales urged everyone who wants to see Zambia succeed to stand for a better society and accountability.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba April 13, 2023