On the first anniversary of the New Africa-France Summit in Montpellier, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will travel to Zambia and South Africa from October 4-8. One year after the election of President Hichilema, this visit to Zambia from a member of the French administration, the first of its kind since 2017, marks an important step in the reinforcement of the bilateral relationship between France and Zambia.
In Zambia, the minister will be received by the President of the Republic of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema. She will also meet with Chipoka Mulenga, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, and Elijah Julaki Muchima, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (acting Minister of Green Economy and Environment) and will conduct several site visits:
- A discussion on combatting early school leaving and French-language education at the Chiwama School in Lusaka;
- A meeting with Zambian youth representatives and the Zambian attendees of the October 2021 New Africa-France Summit in Montpellier.
In South Africa, the minister will attend the launch of several initiatives that have arisen from the Montpellier summit, in particular:
- The Innovation Foundation for Democracy, which was among the proposals made by Professor Achille Mbembe to the French president in order to rejuvenate the relationship between France and Africa;
- The regional forum Our Future, which France and South Africa are organizing together, at a session on the links between freedom and democracy.
The minister will also meet with Alvin Botes, South African Deputy Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, as well as Daniel Mminele, Head of the Presidential Climate Finance Task Team in South Africa. These meetings will provide the opportunity to discuss France’s contribution to the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in South Africa, in anticipation of the COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Lastly, this visit will include discussions with local health professionals. South Africa is one of the main recipients of aid from the pandemic-fighting Global Fund, where France recently increased its contribution. South Africa also benefits from our multilateral efforts to strengthen the continent’s health sovereignty.