The United States government has announced a US$80 million grant to Zambia that would supply four Bell 412EP helicopters to the Zambia Air Force (ZAF), authorities have said.
Zambia Air Force Major General, Oscar Nyoni, said the grant comes with three years of service, parts, and training for the helicopters.
Nyoni revealed this during a press conference on Thursday in Lusaka.
He thanked the U.S. government for the donation, noting that this grant would enable ZAF to better support the domestic needs of Zambia, regional security, and United Nations peacekeeping missions abroad.
“Commander of U.S. Africa Command General Michael Langley made the announcement at the Africa Senior Enlisted Leaders Conference (ASELC), which the United States and Zambia co-hosted from September 10-13,” Nyoni said.
He said this annual conference convened senior enlisted leaders from approximately 30 African countries to discuss mutual challenges and opportunities, including crisis response.
Nyoni said the conference also discussed the rule of law, protecting natural resources, addressing instability, and strengthening security cooperation.
“Zambia is the first African nation to host the ASELC.
During his two-day visit to Zambia, Langley met with Zambian Minister of Defence Ambrose Lufuma to discuss strengthening the U.S.-Zambia security partnership,” he said.
Nyoni said Langley also met members of the Zambia Defence Force (ZDF) to discuss women, peace, and security efforts in the Zambian military and to learn how the ZDF had been so successful in integrating women into all ranks and career fields.
He added that Langley visited a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) “Stop Gender-Based Violence” programme at Munali Boys Secondary School to learn how the project was empowering boys and men to be champions against gender-based violence using the “Coaching Boys into Men” activity.
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