Remarks by Sheryl Stumbras, USAID Zambia Mission Director, at the Citizens Engaged for Improved Public Services and Responsive Governance Learning Event

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Subject 
Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance
Chiti Mwila of Eastern Province is interviewed after the FACT Learning Event in Lusaka on September 24, 2019
Chiti Mwila of Eastern Province is interviewed after the FACT Learning Event in Lusaka on September 24, 2019
Edward Demarco

Citizens Engaged for Improved Public Services and Responsive Governance Learning Event
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
USAID/Zambia Director Sheryl Stumbras
(Remarks as prepared)

Honorifics

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Development Planning, Mr. Chabala Chola

Distinguished representatives from the Government of the Republic of Zambia Counterpart International President, Ann Hudock FACT Chief of Party, Chilufya Kasutu FACT implementing partners Friends, partners, and representatives from Civil Society, Cooperating Partners, and the private sector Media representatives Ladies and gentlemen

On behalf of the U.S. Mission to Zambia, it is my pleasure to join you this morning at the Shared Responsibility and Accountability learning event for the Fostering Accountability and Transparency (FACT) project.  Designed to work at the district and national levels, FACT represents an investment by the United States government, through USAID, to strengthen local civil society’s capacity to drive and champion Zambia’s development agenda.

USAID Administrator Mark Green once said, and I’m paraphrasing, “A country's bright future and unlimited potential can best be reached, can only be reached, with a strong, vibrant civil society, strong media, and by listening to the voices of the people.”

USAID has been striving to accomplish this through FACT and in partnership with the Zambian government, Counterpart International, and civil society.  FACT helps builds Zambia’s self-reliance by empowering people with the tools to hold government accountable and foster citizen participation. This approach taps into the energy of the Zambian people, especially young people, to build a healthier, better-educated, and more prosperous nation.

In Zambia and around the world, the United States government sees effective civil society engagement as a powerful way to sustainably reduce poverty and increase social and economic opportunities, and the programs supported by USAID reinforce this belief.

USAID believes every person, every community, and every country wants to be empowered to lead their own future. Civil society is dynamic and inclusive, full of ideas and resources. It includes citizens, the private sector, traditional and faith leaders, and civic action groups.

All are essential to what USAID calls the Journey to Self-Reliance.  The Journey to Self-Reliance is USAID’s mission to support partner countries' achievement of the ability to plan, finance and execute solutions for its own development priorities, without external assistance.

By pursuing the Journey to Self-Reliance, Zambia will move closer to the day when external assistance is no longer needed.  Through the FACT program, USAID and our partners are working to realize this vision in Zambia.

Today, we will hear from Zambians who, through FACT, have effectively engaged with their government and their community to improve health care for mothers and children; to ensure that schools get the support they need; to protect Zambia’s natural resources; and to help communities get the benefits they deserve from Zambia’s mining riches.

The theme of today’s event is “Shared Responsibility and Accountability,” highlighting the enhanced collaboration the FACT program has promoted since 2014.  As much as we are looking back today at lessons learned, at both the successes and setbacks, we must also look forward. Today’s learning event is also the launch of the “Shared Responsibility and Accountability” campaign to inspire continued action – your action – our collective action – beyond the life of the FACT program.

This theme amplifies the voices calling for improved collaboration and engagement through joint programs to drive effective, strategic partnerships. These, in turn, lead to meaningful development results in various sectors, including health, education, and natural resources management.

We must ensure the positive impact doesn’t fade away when the FACT program ends in March 2020.  I encourage you to commit to actions that build self-reliance and sustainability in your work and organizations.

Thank you again to the Government of the Republic of Zambia, Counterpart International, our program and development partners, and civil society for their commendable work and energy exerted over the past years.  We are hopeful that this is one of many steps toward a stronger, citizen-led civic agency.

Again, we wish you all the best today and in your work moving forward.  Thank you.

For more information about this press release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Zambia Press Office at ZambiaPress@state.gov.

 

Lusaka, Zambia
Issuing Country 

Last updated: October 17, 2019

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