Paul Kagame

President Paul Kagame

THE Board of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Centre for Africa has commended President Edgar Lungu and the Zambian Government for the support rendered to the continental entity and for hosting the sub-regional Centre for Southern Africa.

The SDG Board is co-chaired by President of Rwanda Paul Kagame and billionaire Aliko Dangote.

Speaking during the 8th Board of Directors Meeting held on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, SDG Centre for Africa Director General Dr Belay Begashaw, who presented the report to the organisation expressed gratitude to President Lungu and the Government of Zambia for the generous and timely support that led to the launch of the Southern African Centre in Lusaka, which is now operational with six flagship projects in the sub-region.

Begashaw said the Board was working with the Zambian government in transforming Zambia’s agriculture sector as well as the institutional assessment of the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ).

“The Centre (SDG Sub-regional Centre for Southern Africa) has started working with Zambia on efforts to tap existing potential and transform the agriculture sector. Work has begun and will continue to during the remaining quarter of the year,” Begashaw said.

“In response to the collaboration agreement signed between SDGC/A and DBZ aimed at strengthening the capacity of the bank in the development, adaptation and delivery of best practice, knowledge, technology, and policies to improve attainment of SDGs in Zambia, SDGC/A has embarked on conducting an in-depth institutional assessment to understand key progress and challenges faced by DBZ and thereafter suggest recommendations for improvement.”

Reacting to the activity report, Dangote, President Kagame and other board members commended the President and his Government for the commitment to the success of the SDGs Centre for Africa, especially the promotion of the sustainable wellbeing of the people.

Minister of National Development Planning Honourable Alexander Chiteme, who represented President Lungu at the meeting, thanked the board members for the commendation and assured them of President Lungu and the Zambian Government’s unwavering support to the sub-regional centre and the drive to ensure Africa attains SDGs.

“The Government of Zambia has set aside resources in our 2020 budget to support the sub-regional Centre’s programmes and activities, including the restructuring of the Development Bank of Zambia, he said.”

Also in attendance were Prof. Jeffrey Sacha, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina, Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki and Vice-President of Ivory Coast Daniel Kablan Duncan among others.