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World Bank assures Zambia of help

KAPALA CHISUNKA, Lusaka
THE World Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Zambia in various projects being undertaken in the country.
World Bank Group Country Director Paul Noumba said the Bank was committed to helping Zambia address poverty eradication, economic development as well as aid effectiveness.
“As a way of strengthening aid effectiveness, the Bank had resolved to support the creation of Project Implementation Units whose staff shall be recruited on performance-based contracts,” Mr Noumba said.
The country director was speaking in Bali, Indonesia, during a bilateral meeting with Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme.
This was during the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monitory Fund.
According to a statement released by the ministry’s public relations unit, Mr Noumba said the World Bank has approved a two-year extension to the Irrigation Development Support Programme, whose objective is to increase agricultural production through irrigation.
The project has four components through which about 5,300 hectares of land is targeted for development with institutional capacity for irrigation enhanced.
Mr Noumba is concerned, however, about projects with poor implementation status and urged Government to strengthen its efforts in project monitoring.
Mr Chiteme re-affirmed Government’s commitment to stronger project implementation mechanisms which will be attained through creation of a Public Investment Board.
He said the board will be required to approve all public investment projects before their implementation.
“The board will also scrutinise the cost implications between the envisaged outcomes and financial input and make recommendations on the most feasible financing modalities and design of projects. This is in order to guarantee value for money whilst attaining higher impacts on beneficiaries,” he said.
The minister expressed confidence that the setting up of Project Implementation Units and introduction of performance-based contracts will go a long way in improving delivery of project outcomes.
The annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the WBG bring together ministers of Finance, ministers of Development Planning, central bankers, private sector executives, and other stakeholder representatives to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, and economic development.

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