Lusaka, Zambia—United States Ambassador to the Republic of Zambia Eric Schultz visited Chipata, Eastern Province on June 6 for an America Days program, which is part of the United States’ effort to engage with Zambians outside of the capital city.
The Ambassador’s visit was an opportunity to highlight the important work that the United States is undertaking with the Zambian government to improve economic and social empowerment of women and girls, public service delivery, the agriculture sector and nutritional status of Zambians, and livelihoods. He also highlighted the work that the U.S. government is doing to assist the Zambian government in promoting accountability and promoting an active informed citizenry, which is critical to Zambia’s long-term progress.
During his visit, the Ambassador officially opened a US$5 million Women’s Livelihood and Children’s Access to Education project. The project, named EMPOWER, aims to increase women’s livelihoods and children’s access to education in five districts in Eastern Province, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The project will provide direct services to 2,500 adolescent girls aged 15–17 who are engaged in or at high risk of engaging in child labor. Services include educational programs, vocational or technical training, apprenticeships, and other services to develop the skills adolescent girls need to secure good jobs or start their own businesses. The project will also help 1,500 vulnerable women with children engaged in or at risk of engaging in child labor to improve their economic situations by establishing or expanding their own businesses. The program will also serve 1,000 male adults from the girls’ or women’s households.
While in Chipata, Ambassador Schultz also visited USAID/Zambia’s flagship civil society strengthening program, Fostering Accountability and Transparency (FACT), as well as the USAID-funded Feed the Future Production Innovation Technology Plus site, which empowers local farmers to increase their agricultural production.
The Ambassador paid courtesy calls on Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people, Provincial Minister The Honorable Makebi Zulu, Mayor of Chipata His Worship Sinoya Mwale, and Catholic Bishop of Chipata George Lungu.