UK Minister for Africa to visit Zambia this week

UK Minister for Africa to visit Zambia this week

Henry Bellingham

The UK Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham will make a three day visit to Zambia from 7 – 9 November, 2011.

The Minister’s visit will strengthen the broad bilateral relationship that exists between theUnited Kingdom and Zambia.

Bellingham said:

“I am very much looking forward to my first visit toZambia.  This visit provides an opportunity to strengthen trade links between theUKandZambiaand highlight where we can work together in the future.

I congratulateZambiaon the peaceful transfer of power following recent elections. The transparent and peaceful manner in which they were conducted, and the exemplary way in which power was transferred, is a major success for democracy inZambiaand a model to others in the region and across Africa.

“ Zambia has an important role to play in SADC, COMESA and theSouthern Africaregion and I will be discussing a range of important regional and international security issues and trade opportunities with members of the Government.”

And British High Commissioner, Tom Carter, said;

“This will be the first visit toZambiaby a Minister from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for several years.  It offers the opportunity to bolster trade and investments links between the two countries, and highlight future investment opportunities for British businesses.  It will also be the first British ministerial visit toZambiasince the change of government in September, and will enable us to forge a new and deeper relationship with the new government.”

During the visit, Bellingham will meet President Michael Sata, Vice President Guy Scott, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

The meetings will focus on how to strengthen trade and investment links betweenZambiaand theUK, regional and international security issues as well as identifying areas for further cooperation., according to the British High Commission in Lusaka.

He will also meet the British and Zambian business community. Mr Bellingham will also visit Zambia Sugar plc, a Sugar producer based in Mazabuka, Southern Province, and theUK’s biggest investment in Zambia.

President Sata is also hosting a large lunch for Mr Bellingham at State House, to which he has invited members of the British business and resident community in Zambia.

Zambia:UKassistance

Currently, theUKgovernment, through DFID, is supporting the government ofZambiato deliver better services and make better investment decisions, tackling malaria and maternal mortality and increasing opportunities for rural wealth creation. DFID will be spending an average of £59 million per year inZambiauntil 2015.

Zambia Sugar is theUK’s largest investment inZambia.  It is owned by Illovo of South Africa, in which company Associated British Foods have a majority shareholding.   Zambia’s largest sugar producer, it is located in Mazabuka (about 125 km south west ofLusaka) where its main activities are the growing of sugarcane on an irrigated Estate of approximately 14,640 hectares, and the production and marketing of sugar and downstream products. Zambia Sugar currently produces around 400,000 tonnes of sugar per year, of which nearly half is exported toEurope.

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