GIZ has been working in Zambia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 1966 and has maintained an office in the capital Lusaka since 1982. GIZ currently employs 28 seconded and 71 national staff in Zambia. In addition, 15 development workers and six integrated experts are also working in the country.
After more than 15 years of steady economic growth, average GDP per capita has increased fourfold to more than 1,800 US dollars, making Zambia a lower middle income country. This growth is founded on stable political conditions, sound budgetary and financial policies, and strong demand for the country’s principal export commodity, copper.
However, the distribution of economic growth and the resulting rise in income is extremely inequitable, and public investment contributes very little to poverty reduction. In rural areas in particular, more than 60 per cent of Zambia’s population of around 15 million still lives on less than one US dollar per day. There is widespread undernourishment among children and nursing mothers. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – especially those aimed at reducing child mortality rates and providing access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation – will not be reached. Zambia is therefore still placed in the bottom quarter of the Human Development Index compiled by the United Nations, ranking 141st out of 187 countries. It is also one of the countries likely to be most affected by climate change in future.
GIZ’s work focuses on the following priority areas, based on the National Development Plan adopted in 2011 and revised in 2014:
- water (drinking water, wastewater, water resources management), including adaptation to climate change
- good governance (decentralisation, political participation by civil society, good financial governance).
Outside these priority areas, a country-specific package of measures focusing on improving food security, building resilience and promoting green innovation centres is being implemented within the framework of the BMZ’s global ‘One World, No Hunger’ special initiative. In addition, an HIV/AIDS prevention project is being implemented in Zambia. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GIZ is advising on the production and marketing of cotton via the regional Competitive African Cotton Initiative.
Due to GIZ’s widely recognised services, several other donors provide additional cofinancing for projects implemented by GIZ on behalf of the BMZ. For example, agreements on cofinancing for the governance sector have been reached with the European Commission, Irish Aid and the Department for International Development (DFID-UK Aid).