World Bank counsels Zambia

THE World Bank has urged the Zambian government to be focused and disciplined in managing resources in the wake of the global financial crisis.

And a meeting has been set for April to bring opposition political
parties, students, churches, Zambians from rural areas, civil society
and unions with the World Bank and Government to discuss how the
country can cushion the impact of the recession.

President Banda said in an interview yesterday that on the periphery of
the just-ended African Union summit, he held bilateral talks with World
Bank vice-president for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili, who implored Zambia
to manage her resources properly.

The World Bank will advise Government and various stakeholders to be
invited to the April meeting how the country can survive the global
financial crisis.

The Bank insists that Zambians should change their mindset by
diversifying the economy instead of depending on copper for revenue,
he said.

Mr Banda said apart from the World Bank, he held talks with British
Minister of Africa and Asia, Lord Malloch-Brown, and officials from the
International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He said Lord Malloch-Brown was anxious to meet African leaders to get a
feedback from them on recommendations for the forthcoming G20 meeting.

I told Lord Malloch-Brown that African leaders want a bigger
representation at the summit, to which he agreed. We have included
three more countries, apart from South Africa, to represent the
continent, he said.

The countries are Libya, Ethiopia and another yet to be identified.

He said he also asked Lord Brown to give Zimbabwe a chance to form a
government of national unity by lifting some sanctions and help
Zimbabweans with drugs and food.

Mr Banda said in his meeting with the IMF, they assured him that they
were for the idea of China investing in some African countries.

He said the IMF said China had money to help countries like Zambia improve infrastructure.

Mr Banda said IMF officials would soon come to Zambia to meet the new team at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Meanwhile, Mr Banda says all African countries are for the idea of the formation of the United States of Africa.

The leaders, however, would like the process to be gradual.

He described the just-ended summit as a success as it discussed many
issues regarding the development of Africa and how to tackle problems
such as conflicts.

Daily Mail


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