The United States and Zambia maintain a strong relationship based on shared democratic values, growing commercial engagement, longstanding health cooperation, and enduring people-to-people ties. The United States applauds Zambia’s leadership in the region toward transparent and accountable governance as the recent African co-host of President Biden’s Second Summit for Democracy.
The Vice President’s travel to Lusaka demonstrates the United States’ commitment to advancing our cooperation with Zambia. This includes a renewed focus on economic transformation; increased investments in democracy and governance programming; expanded global health efforts; and innovations in climate solutions. In support of this important bilateral relationship, the Administration intends to provide more than $505 million in fiscal year (FY) 2024 bilateral assistance.
As part of her visit, the Vice President is announcing the following U.S. plans, working with Congress as appropriate. She will also highlight additional resources requested in the FY 2024 President’s Budget.
Strengthening Commercial Engagement
- U.S.-Zambia MOU on Commercial Development: On April 3, Zambia’s Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the U.S. Department of Commerce intend to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop and implement commercial projects of strategic priority. This MOU outlines the intentions of each respective government, contains commitments from departments and agencies across the U.S. government, and will lead to the development of a roadmap for business climate improvements and a project list for increasing U.S.-Zambia trade. The Department of Commerce currently maintains such MOUs with five other African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Tunisia.
Investing in Democratic Institutions and Good Governance
- Partnership for Democratic Development: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to provide $10 million to support the Government of the Republic of Zambia and non-government stakeholder efforts to promote democratic and accountable local governance. This program will advance anti-corruption and transparency through expanded support to local governments—in line with Zambia’s decentralization implementation plan.
- Political Accountability and Leadership Project: USAID plans to provide $3.5 million to support Zambian civil society to implement reforms and oversight activities that will deepen Zambia’s democratic processes and support women’s political participation. The program will promote electoral integrity by fostering greater independence, transparency, and effectiveness for the Electoral Commission of Zambia and improve the enabling environment for women in politics.
- Strengthening Good Financial Governance: USAID plans to participate in a new four-year Strengthening Good Financial Governance project with the Government of the Republic of Zambia to strengthen its financial management systems. The United States will contribute $3 million to this program.
Bolstering Health Cooperation
- Continuing PEPFAR Investments: The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The U.S. government has provided over $5.2 billion to support Zambia’s national HIV response since 2002. These investments have helped increase Zambia’s average life expectancy by 20 years and currently provide nearly 90 percent of the funding for the Zambian national HIV response, including for the provision of life-saving HIV medication to over 1.2 million Zambians. Over the next two years, the United States plans to deploy more than $372.1 million in appropriated funding and has requested an additional $387.9 million in the President’s FY2024 Budget to be provided during this timeframe to continue this support, subject to the availability of appropriations. In addition, the U.S. Government plans to support the Zambian healthcare system by providing equitable access to high-quality, client-centered, integrated health services.
- Malaria Investments through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI): PMI plans to invest $28 million over the next year in partnership with the Government of Zambia to deploy lifesaving interventions proven to fight malaria, including bed nets, fast acting malaria medicines, rapid diagnostic tests, and preventative treatments in pregnancy. These funds will also support stronger, more resilient health systems by training health workers, strengthening supply chains, and improving data monitoring.
- Global Health Security: Through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and USAID, the U.S. Government intends to provide approximately $17 million over the next three years (Fiscal Years 2022-2024 funds), pending the availability of appropriations and final allocations, to support efforts to enhance global health security and pandemic preparedness. The President’s FY 2024 Budget includes an additional $8 million in USAID funding for this purpose, requested to be provided during this timeframe. Zambia is a new U.S. Government global health security intensive support country with activities beginning with FY 2022 funds. This effort will support Zambia to implement effective risk communication for public awareness of pandemic threats and prevent, detect, and respond to zoonotic disease pathogens. Funding will support communities to identify and mitigate risks for the spread of infectious diseases between animals and humans; improve community surveillance systems to quickly identify and respond to emerging health threats, and strengthen laboratory capacity to safely, accurately, and quickly detect prioritized infectious diseases.
- Inclusive COVID-19 Response and Recovery: The Department of State will launch the “Mobilizing Disability and Human Rights Leaders for Inclusive COVID-19 Response and Recovery” initiative with a $1 million investment. This initiative will promote diversity within political organizing efforts, reinforce accountability for COVID-19 responses, and facilitate inclusive policymaking and crisis prevention in Africa. The project works with local partners in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Zambia to empower organizations of people with disabilities, including organizations led by women leaders with disabilities. It also helps participants to build relationships with the broader human rights community, define common priorities, and develop their advocacy and organizing skills to take collective action.
Promoting Innovative Food Security, Energy, and Climate Solutions
- Launch of Fertilizer Fund: USAID and Prosper Africa’s flagship Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) project plan to provide $1.5 million to launch a new Fertilizer Fund in Zambia to address the impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the global food security crisis by helping farmers access alternatives to Russian-sourced fertilizer. This Fertilizer Fund would also help to facilitate the movement of foodstuffs across borders in southern and East Africa, while responding to the global food crisis and increased fuel, fertilizer, and food costs across Africa.
- Renewable Energy Infrastructure: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will support the expansion and reliability of Zambia’s renewable energy infrastructure through more than $1 million in grant funding for a feasibility study that will help develop a utility-scale battery energy storage system. USTDA’s grant would advance the efforts of Africa GreenCo Group, a renewable energy trader, to develop a 400 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system portfolio that would be one of the largest in Africa