For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations


The below is attributable to Acting Deputy Spokesperson  Ashley Yehl:‎

From June 23-27, USAID Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman traveled to Botswana to attend the U.S. Africa Command Chiefs of Defense Conference, and to Zambia to reaffirm U.S. government support to Zambians as they face a crippling drought. Deputy Administrator Coleman participated in the annual meeting of African Chiefs of Defense alongside senior military leaders including the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Brown and AFRICOM Commander General Langley. The theme of the 2024 conference, which took place in Gaborone, Botswana, and was the first convened in Africa, was “Together on the Rampart: Expanding Cooperation, Sharing Values.” Deputy Administrator Coleman delivered a keynote address that underscored the important role of diplomacy, development, and defense partnerships to strengthen African and U.S. mutual security, and emphasized USAID’s work to address underlying causes that drive instability. She also participated in panel discussions, and met with several Chiefs of Defense from across the continent. She hosted a separate discussion with Coastal West African states that are focus countries for the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability, including Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo.

Following the conclusion of the Conference, Deputy Administrator Coleman traveled to Lusaka, Zambia, where she met with government leaders, civil society, and members of the private sector to underscore USAID support to Zambia. On her first evening in Lusaka, Deputy Administrator Coleman gathered with representatives from the private sector, civil society, the International Monetary Fund, and the Government of Zambia to discuss the constraints and opportunities to create a more enabling business environment in the country.  

The next day, Deputy Administrator Coleman joined civil society representatives to learn about the current state of media freedom in Zambia, existing approaches to strengthen information integrity, and the influence of digital technology. She then toured a fertilizer blending facility operated by Export Trading Group Agri Inputs, a USAID partner. There, Deputy Administrator Coleman was joined by Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture, Reuben Phiri, for a discussion on the potential to grow the country’s economy and eliminate poverty through agriculture-led economic growth. Minister Phiri thanked Deputy Administrator Coleman for the U.S. government’s support for Zambia. 

Joined by representatives of civil society, NGOs, small businesses, farmers, the Irish Embassy, and the U.S. Embassy, Deputy Administrator Coleman announced $66.8 million in assistance to the people of Zambia from the United States, through USAID. Of that total, $20 million will be used for urgent humanitarian assistance in response to severe drought, while $15.5 million will support Feed the Future’s development portfolio to increase Zambia’s long-term food security and build resilience to future shocks. Deputy Administrator Coleman also launched Zambia’s Global Food Security Strategy Country Plan, and named Zambia a Feed the Future Accelerator country, a new effort to concentrate resources and attention to areas that are best-poised for agriculture transformation. These investments build on USAID’s climate-smart approach to Zambia’s food security and resilience by integrating rural farming communities into growing regional and global markets for agricultural products, which will enable inclusive, long-term agricultural-led economic growth. The remaining $32.3 million will enable Zambia to continue to enhance good governance reforms and build resilience across various sectors in Zambia. In her remarks, Deputy Administrator Coleman highlighted her appreciation for the growing partnership between USAID and Ireland to advance food security in southern Africa. 

Before departing Zambia, Deputy Administrator Coleman met with President Hichilema and senior government officials to discuss USAID’s support for drought response and economic resilience, the launch of the Accelerator initiative in Zambia, and the importance of continued advances in key economic and democratic reforms. 

In both countries, Deputy Administrator Coleman met with USAID staff to discuss Agency priorities and to express her appreciation for the staff’s diligent work to deliver on USAID's mission.  

Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman Concludes Trip to Botswana and Zambia
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