Zambia has signed an agreement with the United States for a loan of 30 -million U.
SV: Zambian Finance Minister Mr. John Mwanakatwe and U.S. Ambassador Stephen Low signing agreement.
CU: Secretary looks on
SV: Mwanakatwe speaks and officials listen. (2 shots)
SV: Low replies
MWANAKATWE: "Ladies and gentlemen, as you are all no doubt aware it is the policy of our government to strengthen the economy by diversification of its base, in particular in more recent years we are...we have given emphasis to the development of agriculture. I mention this, Mr Ambassador, simply to stress the fact that while we accept and welcome loans, nevertheless the hope is that progressively our economy will become stronger through diversification, so reliance on other nations and other institutions can be reduced to the minimum."
MR. LOW: "The signature of this agreement today marks an important milestone in the developing relationship between our two governments. It provides that the United States will make available 30 million dollars for the purchase of needed commodities by Zambia. Included among these commodities will be fertilizer, agricultural chemicals such as insecticides, and stock feed, all of which will assist the people of Zambia by providing resources needed to permit them to feed themselves. The funds are provided under terms which will avoid creating a financial burden for Zambia. Important though this loan may be, it is only the centrepiece of a broader programme of economic co-operation between out two countries. Not long ago we signed another agreement which provided for technical training of Zambians either in Zambia, elsewhere in Africa, or in the United States. Though financially less important than this agreement, it nevertheless will permit an expansion of Zambia's effort to upgrade the manpower skills of its people. The third element of our economic co-operation consists of the shipment from the United States to Zambia of the foodstuffs in short supply, wheat, vegetable oil and rice. The revenue from the sale of these commodities by the government of Zambia will, by mutual agreement, be used for agricultural development, in order to encourage the nation's rapid development towards full self-sufficiency in food products."
Zambia's economic problems have been made worse, at least for the time being, by its decision to halt copper exports. Copper is the commodity which earns most of Zambia's foreign exchange. The government has officially blamed transport and other difficulties for the halt in exports, which involves the repudiation or suspension of a number of contracts. But Reuters newsagency says many of Zambia's trading partners suspect the aim of the move is to withhold supplies from the open market, thus forcing up prices and eventually giving Zambia a better return on her copper exports.
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Background: Zambia has signed an agreement with the United States for a loan of 30 -million U.S. dollars. The agreement is part of a larger package of aid and was formally concluded in Lusaka on Wednesday (29 March).
SYNOPSIS: The loan agreement was signed for Zambia by the Finance Minister, Mr John Mwanakatwe, and for the United States by the Ambassador to Zambia, Mr Stephen Low. Zambia is at present in economic difficulty and has had to suspend copper exports, it's main income earner. Mr Mwanakatwe, said the loan would be of great benefit.