President of Ireland Mr. Michael D. Higgins says that the work of Irish missionaries in Zambia established a relation of friendship, trust and solidarity that the two countries continue to enjoy to this day.

And Zambia’s Ambassador to Ireland Muyeba Chikonde says Zambia has always regarded Ireland as a strong, solid and reliable partner and has enjoyed very warm and cordial relations stretching well before Zambia achieved its independence in 1964, when Irish missionary societies living amongst the people provided services in health and education.

This was at the occasion of Presentation of Credentials as Ambassador to Ireland on Non-residential basis to President Higgins at “Aras an Uachatarain” the official residence of the President in Dublin on Tuesday, 12th April.

President Higgins said that following his recent visits to Africa he was convinced that the continent will continue on its path of prosperity and Zambia, which has already been classified as a Middle Low Income Developing country, is an example of a country with immense growth potential and that Ireland will continue to be part of Zambia’s positive growth story.

And Ambassador Chikonde said that Irelands Development Assistance has been very effective because the programmes strategy paper is also consistent with the aims of the cooperating partners  Joint Assistance  Strategy for Zambia,

“I bring greetings from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu for your personal wellbeing and that of the people of Ireland.” He said

“The relations between Zambia and Ireland have continued to grow from strength to strength after Zambia become independent culminating in the Ireland opening diplomatic mission in Lusaka in 1982, signifying the need for closer bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries”.

Ambassador Chikonde added that Zambia believes Ireland will continue being a strong and reliable Partner as Zambia embarks on its key Government Policy of Economic Diversification and tackling the effects of climate change saying that Zambia is desirous in seeing an increase in Ireland Investment into the country.

He said Zambia believes that Ireland can play a greater role in supporting Private Sector Development more especially the Small to Medium entrepreneurs.

“The signing of the Avoidance of the Double Taxation Agreement on taxes on Income and Capital Gains between Zambia and Ireland in March, 2015, should encourage Irish investors and businesses community consider investing in Zambia” He said.

Meanwhile Director for Africa, Asia and Palestine in the Development Cooperation Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland Mr. Kevin Dowling said when Ambassador Chikonde paid a courtesy call on him that Irish Aid through its Zambia Country Strategy Paper for the period 2013-2017 will continue to focus on the core areas namely: Quality Education for All; Better Governance and Accountability and Improved livelihoods and better nutrition,  as these support areas are consistent with the Zambia’s National Development Plans of delivering quality education for the citizens, improving governance and reducing poverty.

Through Irish Aid, Ireland has provided development assistance to Zambia over the years covering support to various sectors of the Zambian economy, including education, good governance, health, water and sanitation, local government administration, food and nutrition, public service reforms, among others.

The London Mission oversees Ireland and the Holy See and is represented at Ambassador level on a non-residential basis.

LONDON, Thursday, 12 May, 2016

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