Remarks by U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires a.i. David Young Launch for the Democracy Strengthening in Zambia (DSZ) Project Launch

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Chargé d’Affaires a.i. David Young participates in the ribbon cutting ceremony with fellow diplomats.
Chargé d’Affaires a.i. David Young participates in the ribbon cutting ceremony with fellow diplomats.
USAID Zambia

Honorable Given Lubinda, Ministry of Justice
Honorable Justice Esau Chulu, Chair, ECZ
Mr. Lionel Laurens, Resident Representative, UNDP
Mr. Ambassador Jacek Jankowski, EU
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All other protocols observed.

It is my distinct honor to be here today as we launch the Democracy Strengthening in Zambia project. Voter registration, voter education, free and fair elections are not just top line policies to be pursued. They are also very near and dear to my heart.

The United States Government applauds both the UNDP in their undertaking of this effort and the Electoral Commission of Zambia for their commitment to openly work with UNDP and other key stakeholders for the betterment of the country as we approach the general elections in 2021. 

All elections are important. And this election comes at a critical time for Zambia. We recognize Zambia’s current economic, social, political and public health related challenges. And with these challenges, the increasing polarization, political violence and distrust. 

This project will help Zambia begin to address these important issues through building upon the existing strengths of the ECZ; by establishing an early warning system to identify, prevent and de-escalate electoral and political violence through dialogue and resolution; and through greater civic and political participation and inclusion of all Zambians. 

The U.S. has a large USAID program in Zambia in part because it is a democracy, and because it has set the standard for other countries to follow. It is essential that the Zambian government continue this trajectory.  A democratic government should provide unfettered access to its citizens during the voter registration process, empower these voters to express their opinions during elections and support them to cast their ballot during a time of heightened health insecurities.  The stakeholders present here today can protect and promote these rights and these values through their collaborative efforts of this project. Free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections in 2021 will be a powerful example of Zambia’s commitment to democratic governance.

We are pleased to support this effort and are excited to contribute to the cementing of Zambia’s democractic foundations, while encouraging your democratic aspirations. 

Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia
Issuing Country