President Hakainde Hichilema has arrived in Rome, Italy on Tuesday for a reciprocal State visit at the invitation of that country’s leader, Sergio Mattarella, the Presidency has revealed.
State House Chief Communications Specialist, Clayson Hamasaka, said accompanying the President was First Lady Mutinta and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Stanley Kakubo.
Hamasaka said this in a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday and made available to Zambia Monitor.
“The visit follows Mattarella’s trip to Zambia on July 7, 2022, where both leaders strengthened their Countries longstanding bilateral and international cooperation dating back to Zambia’s Independence,” he stated.
Hamasaka highlighted that during his visit to Zambia in 2022, Mattarella acknowledged Zambia as a beacon of peace and a promoter of democratic tenets.
He said that Mattarella further expressed Italy’s readiness to assist Zambia in various economic sectors, including mining, agriculture, health, and education.
“President Hichilema would discuss Zambia’s advantageous geographical location endowed with fertile arable land and fresh water sources despite the challenges of climate change,” he said.
Hamasaka added the President would attend the Zambia-Italian Business Forum, where he was expected to make a business case for Zambia by encouraging Italian investors to partner with local Zambians.
He stated Hichilema was expected to encourage business investments and partnerships that increase local production through in-country mineral extraction, processing, and value addition to generate employment and strengthen the local currency from exports.
“The President will further discuss the need to review the cost of capital that disadvantages Africa,” Hamasaka indicated.
He said the Head of State would use the visit to thank Italy for its support in securing an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and facilitating debt restructuring talks.
Hamasaka stated that Hichilema would also acknowledge Italy’s timely response to Zambia’s Covid-19 challenge, involving the donation of over 500,000 Pfizer vaccines to the Ministry of Health.
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