Zambia's Finance Minister Bwalya Ng'andu. Photo: Bloomberg.
LUSAKA - Zambia's Finance Minister Bwalya Ng'andu held a meeting with cooperating partners where they pledged to closely work together to ensure the country's sustainable development, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. 

The Zambian minister told the cooperating partners that his government values their partnership in helping the country's development and assured of continued discussions in order to stimulate faster implementation of development programs, according to a release by ministry spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta. Ng'andu, who was appointed last week, said he needs the support of cooperating partners. 

"Hard work is beckoning, the need for action is immediate, my honeymoon is shot and my ministry will require your unfettered support to push policy implementation and get work done," he said. 

Christoph Fritz, German Head of Development Cooperation, who spoke on behalf of the cooperating partners, affirmed the cooperating partners' support towards building a strong partnership with the government. 

He said the assurance by the government to implement austerity measures was a very important message to the international community as it demonstrates the resolve of the authorities in taking corrective measures in the country's progression towards fiscal health. 

The cooperating partners further encouraged the finance minister to continue with the country's efforts towards acquisition of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) supported economic program in order to expand the financing options available to Zambia. 

 Other issues discussed during the talks included debt management, financial governance, private sector development, value-for-money public investment, protection of social spending and economic stabilization and growth reforms.

XINHUA