Zambia is a large landlocked, lower-middle-income country in the heart of Southern Africa. Its population is one of the world’s youngest with a median age of 17.
Zambia's economy is highly dependent on mining (70% of its export revenues come from copper) and a weather-dependent agricultural sector. Zambia experienced difficult economic and debt situation, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but reached an agreement with creditors under the Common Framework in June 2023. Under the leadership of President Hichilema, Zambia is a peaceful beacon of stability and democracy in the region, pursuing ambitious reform plans centered on human development, good governance, and economic diversification.
Zambia is for the EU a reliable and steady ally on regional and multilateral issues and as a role model for the region in terms of democracy. The peaceful transition of power in August 2021 opened a promising chapter for deeper EU-Zambia relations. There are regular political exchanges at the highest level. President Hichilema got a standing ovation at the European Parliament in June 2022 for his speech in support of democracy, and he signed with EU Commission President von der Leyen the Forest Partnership at COP27. Commissioner Urpilainen visited Zambia, together with a delegation of Members of the European Parliament in June 2023.
Our actions in the country focus on three priority areas, in line with the Global Gateway Strategy:
- build a green partnerships for sustainable recovery, growth and jobs
- support the people of Zambia to reach their potential and build resilience
- to create a fair, inclusive and peaceful society.
As Team Europe, the European Union, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, and France, the European Investment Bank, the AFD, KfW and FMO, work together to implement initiatives focused on human development and on inclusive green recovery and growth in Zambia.
The EU adopted a Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for the period of 2021-27. Under this framework, the EU allocated €299 million which was later amended and increased by an additional €60 million to resume budget support in Zambia in favour of the health and education sectors. This amendment was adopted recognising the country’s positive democratic trajectory, and to further support the country’s much-needed reforms.
Our flagship initiatives
- Climate Action for Inclusive Green Recovery and Growth
In support of Zambia’s just green transition and promoting integrated approaches towards rural development. This transition will be achieved through sustainable management of natural resources and natural capital, and by supporting the diversification of the economy to access decent work and economic growth.
- Lobito Corridor: Announced during the G20 Summit in New Delhi 2023, the US and the EU will work together to extend and develop the railway line running from the port of Lobito in Angola to Luacano, where it is planned to be extended to Jimbe and conclude in Chingola. The railway line will provide enhanced trade capacity allowing the Zambian industry to increase their exports both regionally and globally.
- Forestry Partnership: The EU and Zambia aim to address challenges related to deforestation, forest degradation and loss of biodiversity.
- Renewable energy: The flagship Kariba Dam Rehabilitation project will be complemented with the construction of an interconnector project which will allow Zambia to link its grid to its regional neighbours and enable the country to export excess electricity to the Eastern and southern Africa power pools.
- Agriculture: the inclusive green growth initiative aims to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability and increase food production with the help of access to sustainable finance.
- Human Development
Aims at empowering Zambia’s youth and promoting reforms and investments in human development, namely in quality education, health and nutrition, rule of law and human rights, and reproductive health and maternal and childcare.
- A special focus will be on early childhood education, but the programme will also include health and multisector approaches to nutrition.
- Transboundary Water management
Aims to improve the management of water and fisheries. The project is developing a water quality monitoring system and is contributing to reduce water pollution.