Dear Dr. Sichembe [Auditor General]
Ms. Khuzwayo [Acting Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission],
Ms. Kazembe [Coordinator and Deputy National Authorising Officer],
Dear fellow Ambassadors,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Representatives from the Media and Press,
I am particularly delighted to host you today at my residence for the ceremonial signing of Twinning projects with the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
You might not be aware, but we are actually pioneers by spearheading Twinning in Zambia, the very first country where Twinning with specialized agencies and institutions of EU Member States is being pioneered outside Europe’s immediate neighbourhood. This is really a day to celebrate!
Twinning projects bring together public sector expertise from EU Member States and partner countries, with the aim of achieving concrete mandatory operational results through peer-to-peer activities.
Today we open a new chapter in the relation between Zambia and the EU and its Member States. Twinning lifts the European Union’s and our Member States’ cooperation with Zambia to a new level. As we move from aid to development to true partnership and to a “Team Europe” approach with our new programming exercise, I can say that today, we pave the way to become even closer partners in development. This is why I invited the Ambassadors and representatives of EU Member States to join this special event.
In a few minutes, we will sign 1) the Twinning project with the Office of the Auditor General, which will be implemented by a European consortium from Austria, Finland, and Croatia and 2) the Twinning project with the Anti-Corruption Commission, which will be implemented by a European consortium from Finland and Germany. These two institutions reflects Zambia’s commitment to systematically protect citizens’ rights and to pursue wrongdoing in public administration.
The two Twinning projects are part of our 11th European Development Fund funded “Effectiveness and Transparency in Management of Public resources (EFFECT)” programme, which aims to strengthen Public Financial Management, including greater accountability and transparency, in Zambia. The EFFECT programme also aims to enhance Zambia’s domestic revenue base, to generate additional resources for sustainable recovery and growth in the country.
Improving the oversight of public spending by the National Audit Office and strengthening the operations of the Anti-Corruption Commission are two cornerstones of EU’s engagement in PFM. We jointly agreed with the Government to follow an innovative approach, meaning the Twinning approach, through which our genuine cooperation will evolve to a true partnership between equal partners.
As mentioned earlier, Zambia is now officially spearheading the extension of our Twinning instrument to ACP Countries. There is therefore a lot of interest in Brussels but also in other ACP countries about what we are going to achieve together, here in Zambia. So, there is no alternative to jointly deliver and succeed, as we all want to give a good example to others.
Twinning is not a one-way technical assistance instrument but its philosophy is based on a joint commitment where success is understood as a common achievement. Our institutions will exchange, rather than transfer knowledge, thus broadening the perspective of everyone involved. Twinning relies on the ‘learning by doing’ principle and sharing of best practices. I am confident that over the years, we will build strong and long-lasting professional, and even personal, relationships through these two projects.
The two Twinning projects will be implemented over a period of 36 months, with a total budget of EUR 2 million each, financed by the 11th EDF.
The two Twinning projects will certainly contribute to good governance and to develop our partnership with Zambia. It offers at the same time an excellent opportunity to further strengthen and live our Team Europe approach, involving European Member States that are not yet visible in Zambia.
On this regard, let me express some words of gratitude:
On a final note, and as we may boost “Twinning” approaches in the future, these two programmes can be considered as pilots and we are all much committed to their success. Let me wish us all a successful implementation of the two Twinning projects and rewarding cooperation in the times ahead.