The French Development Agency (AFD), a financial institution in charge of implementing France’s official development programs in developing countries, has recently awarded Zambia with a EUR 50 million loan for water and sanitation projects in Chingola, Mufulira and Chililabombwe in the Copperbelt region.
The projects’, whose total investment is calculated in EUR 156 million, is being co-financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) with EUR 75 million, the Zambian government with EUR 20 million and the European Union (EU) with EUR 11 million.
The projects are considered under Zambia’s National Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project (NUWSSP), which aims at reaching full sanitation coverage in the Copperbelt by 2030 up from the current average between 65% and 89%, to support a country average at around 90% in the same year according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
According to the AFD, after the project’s completion in 2021, it is expected to benefit 500,000 people in the Copperbelt of which 30,000 live in peri-urban areas where the services are not currently available yet.
Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC) will be the utility in charge of implementing the projects with this initial investment but the AFD is planning to allocated further support in Zambia through either the private or public sector, explained AFD Regional Director Martha Stein-Sochas.
France sees Zambia as one of the most lucrative destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows and so far there are approximately 30 companies in the country to establish long-term partnerships, explained French Ambassador to Zambia Emmanuel Cohet.
France is the 11th largest investment in Zambia representing 1.5% of the total FDI inflows to the country with approximately USD 27.2 million in 2013 up from USD 25.7 million in 2012, when the AFD started its support program to Zambia that has reached a total commitment of EUR 140 million to date.