Germany and Zambia nurture a very deep connection, since Germany was one of the first countries to recognize Zambia as a sovereign nation. Achim Burkart, Ambassador of Germany in Lusaka, discusses the relations with Zambia in politics, economics and development cooperation.
European Times: What are Embassy’s main activities and goals?
Achim Burkart: We provide information to Germany on the political, social and economic conditions in Zambia, we foster the bilateral relations and we assist German companies and investors. The German Embassy is actively working to support the reform process and stimulate the business climate in the country. The Embassy’s main focus is sustainable economic development provided through vocational trainings, agricultural development and rural development.
Development cooperation is a particularly important aspect of our relations. Zambian-German development cooperation encompasses many years of commitment of the German Government to Zambia. Since 1964, when Zambia gained its independence, the German Government has made available €912.4 million of direct bilateral assistance and another €700 million of indirect multilateral contributions to programs of the European Commission, the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank and the United Nations organisations in Zambia. The Zambian and the German Governments have agreed to concentrate their efforts in development cooperation on the two priority areas “Water and Sanitation” and “Good Governance”, embracing “Decentralisation” and “Civil Society Participation”.
European Times: What are the specific areas of interest for German investors in Zambia?
Achim Burkart: There is a growing interest of German companies in various sectors, starting from mining, agriculture, and recently tourism sector. The German businesses are fully integrated in the society, providing organizational support and performing social activities.
European times: What is your personal message to potential investors and visitors?
Achim Burkart: Zambia is a lovely country, the ethnic communities live together in harmony, and Zambians are very welcoming to people from other countries and that’s something I appreciate about being here. There is much more in Zambia than mining, I always tell fellow Germans that there are a lot of opportunities here, if you tap in to the right area, work with the right people, you will have a successful business. There are certain challenges, but Germany and Zambia have a very open and trustful dialogue on these issues, and there are numerous positive stories to tell about this beautiful nation.
Overall, Zambia is in a very positive situation compared to other countries in the region, not only as a place to invest, but also for tourists that wish to see something unique.
The Embassy and the German Chamber of Commerce are here to guide and support investors in the right areas to do business.