Wednesday, 14 December 2011


THE Norwegian government has contributed about K 79 billion in direct support towards Zambia’s budget this year, Norway’s ambassador to Zambia Arve Ofstad has disclosed.
And Norway has committed about K100 billion (US $20 million) to support Eastern and Southern Africa meeting the climate change challenges.
Ambassador Ofstad explained in a statement released in Lusaka that the direct support towards Zambia’s budget was aimed at enhancing government’s efforts to provide effective public service delivery, employment creation and poverty reduction, particularly in the rural areas.
“Norway welcomes the government’s strong stance on anti-corruption, expansion of social services and poverty reduction, and appreciates the increased allocation in the 2012 budget to strengthen these efforts,” said Ambassador Ofstad. “Zambia has also made progress mobilising its own resources for nation development, including improvements in its tax revenue collection. Norway looks forward to continue supporting these efforts. Overtime, it is our aim to focus more on capacity building and policy dialogue to ensure that Zambia benefits from efficient national institutions.”
Ambassador Ofstad said Norway’s budget support to Zambia is set out in a bilateral agreement between the two governments.
“This agreement was signed on 2 December 2011. Cooperation on budget support to Zambia is also detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding between a larger group of donors and Zambia’s Minister of Finance H.E. Alexander Chikwanda, signed on 17 November 2011,” said Ambassador Ofstad.
Norway with all budget support donors encourage efficient scrutiny by Parliament and the Office of the Auditor General as well as a strong civil society voice to provide democratic checks and balances on all government spending.
Norway supports several key public financial management programmes and institutions such as the Office of the Auditor General, Zambia Revenue Authority, Bank of Zambia and Financial Intelligence Centre, several Zambian and international civil society organisations.
And while signing the agreement with COMESA, Ambassador Ofstad referred to the major consequences for all countries in the world, if global temperature was allowed to increase by more than two degrees.
He noted that the developed world currently bears the main responsibility for carbon dioxide emissions and global warming and that Africa and the developing world were the main victims.
“However, Africa will have to make equal efforts to avoid becoming major emitters in the future,” said Ambassador Ofstad.
COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya expressed his gratitude to Norway and the other contributors. He assured the donors that issues of climate change were being taken seriously by COMESA and national governments in Africa.
Ngwenya expressed confidence that the programme would lead to real impact on the ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment