THE United States Embassy in Lusaka has announced the arrival of an additional 151,200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States Government as part of its global efforts to fight the coronavirus.
The United States has now donated over 300,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson to Zambia over the last week as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to share the U.S. vaccine supply with the world.
The vaccines were made available through the African Union COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility and are part of the U.S. pledge to provide at least 25 million of 80 million doses globally with Africa.
The U.S. government coordinated closely with the African Union and Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on the country allocations.
And speaking about the impact of this donation, USAID Mission Director Sheryl Stumbras encouraged all Zambians to get vaccinated, focusing on the rigorous testing the vaccine underwent and its strong safety record “Getting vaccinated saves lives.
“That is why the United States has pledged $4 billion to COVAX to accelerate equitable global access to vaccines. The United States is working to ensure countries are prepared to safely and effectively distribute these vaccines,”Stumbras said
Stumbras said vaccines are an essential tool in reducing the impact of COVID-19.
“The Government of the Republic of Zambia has released new guidelines this month that recommend vaccination for expectant and breastfeeding mothers, and the elderly.
These are the same recommendations we give in the United States. Globally, pregnant women are more likely to get severely ill if they get COVID-19,,” Stumbras said
Stumbras further said the United States remains committed to supporting the Ministry of Health in sharing essential information on COVID-19 prevention and vaccine eligibility.
FAZ to conduct COVID-19 vaccination at Heroes stadium in Lusaka
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) in conjunction with the Ministry of Health will conduct a COVID-19 vaccination exercise at National Heroes Stadium on the sidelines of CAF Confederation match between Red Arrows and Simba Sports Club of Tanzania.
FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala says the joint exercise was meant to provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the public that may not have an opportunity to receive the jab.
“We are very happy to provide a platform for members of the public to take the vaccine whilst enjoying a football match. With the fourth wave of the Covid-19 upon us, we would like to urge everyone to consider taking the jab as part of the preventative measures for the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Kashala.
“We may be veering towards a period where spectators will be required to produce proof of vaccination to be admitted at football matches,” he said.
Kashala said FAZ has been encouraging its members to embrace all preventative measures advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health.
“Going forward we will continue working with the Ministry of Health to conduct vaccination exercises at stadia,” he said
Red Arrows plays Simba SC at National Heroes Stadium today with kick off set at 15:00 hours.
This is according to a statement issued by FAZ communications manager Sydney Mungala.
Government and IMF reach a staff level agreement worth US$ 1.4 billion
FINANCE Minister says government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Zambia, have reached a Staff-Level Agreement on a programme under the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) that envisages provision of financial support of US$1.4 billion over the next three years.
Situmbeko Msokotwane said in a statement, that this will be in addition to the US$1.3 billion SDR allocation that was received in August 2021.
Mr Musokotwane noted that the programme is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board.
“Reaching a Staff-Level Agreement was one of the immediate objectives of the New Dawn Government and a directive by His Excellency, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia that the Ministry should finalize negotiations with the Fund, that had protracted for years, within the shortest possible time, and his is exactly what we have done,” he said.
The Finance Minister added that the IMF programme will provide much needed fiscal space to Zambia and anchor its domestic economic programme, which is based on four pillars that include, economic transformation and job creation, human and social development, environmental sustainability and good governance.
“As a result of the policies underpinning the IMF programme, we will be able to prioritize human development and meet critical Government programmes including social sector spending in health and education,” he stated.
He stated that the policy package also reflects government’s objectives such as provision of bursaries and meal allowances to vulnerable students as well as the implementation of the decentralized programmes under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
“We have engaged in many months of rigorous discussions and consultations to agree on an economic and financial policy package that will help us restore debt sustainability, build a productive and resilient economy, and sustain the livelihoods of our people, he added.
“The Staff-Level Agreement paves the way for debt restructuring talks with our creditors. Upon reaching an understanding with the creditors, including through the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatment, the IMF Board will consider Zambia’s application for the ECF Programme. Upon Board approval, we will have access to highly concessional financing from the IMF and will also be able to start accessing financial support from other multilateral and bilateral partners. Having a programme in place will boost investor confidence and move our economy towards a sustainable economic growth trajectory,” the Minister noted.
He has since thanked the IMF team, and the Zambian team for the hard work that led to reaching a staff-level agreement.
He further announced that on Monday 6th December, 2021, he will hold a joint press briefing with the IMF Mission Chief to Zambia, Ms. Allison Holland, during which we will provide more detail on the Staff-Level agreement and will be able to answer your questions.
Victor Mundende fired by New ZESCO Board as it appoints Victor Mapani as new ZESCO MD
ZESCO Limited Board of Directors with the approval of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has appointed Engineer Victor B. Mapani as the Managing Director of ZESCO Limited with immediate effect.
According to a statement issued by Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Head of Corporate Communication Namakau Mukelabai, Mapani has extensive experience in the energy sector having worked in various power utilities and quasi government institutions in Zambia and abroad.
Ms Mukelabai said the IDC and the ZESCO Board are confident Eng. Mapani will execute his role diligently and undertake key reforms that will make ZESCO a profitable enterprise.
Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of ZESCO has terminated the contract of ZESCO Limited Managing Director, Mr Victor Mundende with immediate effect.
The Board of Directors has since thanked Mr Mundende for his services and wished him well in his future endeavors.