Outgoing Irish Ambassador to Zambia Bill Nolan has advised government to accelerate the implementation of its diversification programme in order for the country to over its economic challenges.
Ambassador Nolan said Zambia has reached a turning point where it needs to develop other sectors of the economy to remain competitive on the international stage.
He was speaking during a farewell luncheon hosted for him by Irish Aid staff at Thorn Tree Lodge in Kasama yesterday.
Ambassador Nolan said Zambia should not depend on the mining sector as the mainstay of the economy but should develop other viable sectors such as agriculture and tourism.
He predicted that Zambia was set to boost its economic growth in the next 10 years owing to the development that was taking place in the country.
He pledged his country’s continued support to Zambia’s development process, especially in outlying areas like Northern Province.
Mr Nolan, whose four-year tenure of office comes to end soon, said he enjoyed his stay in the country and thanked Zambians for their hospitality.
And speaking at the same function, acting provincial deputy permanent secretary Micah Zyambo thanked the Irish government for its continued financial support to Zambia.
Mrs. Zyambo said Northern Province has greatly benefited from Irish Aid in various sectors such as education, health, and water development.
She revealed that last year Irish Aid pumped in K9 billion towards the uplifting of socio-economic status of vulnerable people in the province.
Mrs. Zyambo assured Ambassador Nolan that government has put in place stringent measures to avoid abuse of public funds meant to uplift the status of Zambians at all levels.
The acting deputy PS further praised Ambassador Nolan for taking particular interest in developmental projects being funded by his government in Northern Province.
Irish Aid is currently supporting a number of developmental projects in Isoka, Luwingu, Mbala and Mpika respectively.