LUSAKA – On February 20, a U.S. Congressional delegation along with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies in Rome Cindy McCain visited Zambia to witness how the U.S. government, in partnership with the Government of Zambia and UN agencies, is investing in Zambia’s greatest resource – its people. The delegation of leaders from the U.S. Senate Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations included Senators Lindsey Graham, Bob Menendez, Chris Coons, Martin Heinrich, Chris Van Hollen, and Mark Kelly.
The delegation, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Michael Gonzales, met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Stanley Kakubo and Minister of Tourism Rodney Sikumba to discuss the Zambian Government’s commitment to improve accountable and responsive governance, inclusive economic growth, and the delivery of services. The delegation also visited Kabuyu Primary School to observe how the Zambian Government, with support from the U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Food Programme (WFP), is strengthening the quality of education and improving nutrition for children attending school.
While at the school, the delegation observed a reading lesson supported through the USAID Let’s Read program, which partners with Zambia’s Ministry of Education to improve reading outcomes for approximately 1.4 million children from pre-primary classes through Grade 3 in Zambia’s primary schools. The Let’s Read program is implemented in over half of all public primary and community schools across Zambia. The delegation also saw how the Zambian Government, through its Home Grown School Meals Program, is improving school enrollment, attendance, and retention by providing meals to students and enhancing their nutrition intake.
The delegation also visited the Kabuyu Bulking Center to observe how the Zambian Government is working with United Nations agencies to protect smallholder farmers against climate-related shocks such as floods and droughts by promoting conservation agriculture practices; diversifying livelihoods; and facilitating access to finance and stable, predictable markets.
Before departing Zambia, the delegation had the opportunity to appreciate the majestic Victoria Falls and explore investment and people-to-people opportunities through Zambia’s tourism industry.
U.S. Ambassador Michael Gonzales, Let’s Read Provincial Reading Coordinator Chilobe Muchimba, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Senator Bob Menendez (from left to right) observe students learning how to read at Kabuyu Primary School.