The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:‎

On Thursday, September 23, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power met with Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema to discuss U.S. support for Zambia and President Hichilema’s far-reaching agenda of democratic and economic reforms. 

Administrator Power was pleased to welcome President Hichilema on his first visit to the United States as President of Zambia after his victory in the August 2021 election. She conveyed to him the support of the Biden-Harris Administration and USAID in strengthening the U.S.-Zambia partnership, and in his efforts to expand economic opportunities, reduce inequality, end the COVID-19 pandemic, deliver responsive and transparent governance, and advance democracy and human rights. Administrator Power and President Hichilema discussed the President’s early efforts to tackle corruption, sustain and create jobs, and address trafficking in persons, as well as ways to build on USAID’s long standing work in Zambia to meet the new challenges facing the country.  

Administrator Power also announced that USAID will be programming approximately $18.5 million in additional U.S. Government funding to support President Hichilema’s priorities, including Zambia’s fights against COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, strengthening Zambia’s energy sector, and bolstering democracy.

Administrator Power and President Hichilema discussed the dramatic circumstances that led to his landslide victory in Zambia’s August 12 presidential election. As a longtime opposition leader, President Hichilema had been arrested 15 times and faced significant persecution for his political activity. As Election Day approached observers expressed significant concerns about the prospects for a free and fair election. 

Yet as the entire world witnessed, the Zambian people came out in force, determined to exercise their rights and to send a message about the direction they wanted for their country. The result was a historic turnout powered by millions of first-time voters, young people, and women. Zambian civil society also played a critical role in ensuring that Zambians were able to have their voices heard and in successfully monitoring the electoral process. President Hichilema ultimately won by nearly 20 percentage points—a Zambian victory by Zambians and for Zambians.

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Author: Editor
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