Finland's development cooperation in Zambia

Zambia is a politically stable and safe country with a rapidly growing economy. Its vision is to become a middle-income country by 2030. The obstacles to reaching this target include the poorly diversified economy, high dependence on copper exports, and one of the fastest growing populations in the world. More than half of Zambians live in poverty, and economic inequality in the country is pronounced. In Zambia Finland supports private sector development, better productivity, and job creation for young people.

Country Strategy for Development Cooperation with Zambia 2016–2019(Opens New Window)

Infograafi Sambia, englanti

Commercial cooperation

Traditional development cooperation between Finland and Zambia will diminish in the near future. At the same time we are seeking new means to achieve more broadly-based economic relations between the countries. Team Finland activities use financial instruments intended for commercial cooperation. This is also the approach adopted in the private sector development programme included in the country strategy.

Cooperation by civil society organisations

The activities of Finnish organisations in Zambia are supported, especially when concerned with developing a more inclusive and functioning society and stronger governance. In particular, cooperation relating to the involvement of women and the position of children is supported.


  • Finland has supported the implementation of the first national forest inventory in Zambia. It was the most extensive survey of natural resources to support the development of the use and management of land and forest resources ever conducted in Zambia.

  • Zambian forest policy and forest legislation have been brought up to date through Finland’s support. The legislation provides for communities’ user rights to community forests, for instance. Supported by the forest and natural resources programme, over 30,000 hectares of forest is now for the first time legally managed by communities in Zambia.

  • Zambia's national social protection programme has clearly reduced poverty in its target areas. The results have been verified in reliable surveys conducted annually. The programme has expanded and boosted local business life. Zambia has a developed social welfare policy, but the Government has not provided funding for social security as expected.

  • A development programme in the financial sector has exceeded its objective to make financial services available for half of all citizens in Zambia. As for the financial service user profile, the number of women using the services has increased. Mobile funding services reach 14 per cent of the adult population already, that is, over a million Zambians have access to the services.

  • The Green Jobs Programme has increased the use of environmentally friendly techniques and created hundreds of jobs. In training programmes, attention has been paid to the environment and to the training of experts in sustainable construction and business.

Risk management

The risks of development cooperation are mitigated by means of systematic monitoring of projects and programmes and dialogue with the partners and the country’s administration. The aim is also to improve the citizens’ opportunities to influence the development of the country.

The biggest risks for the implementation of the development cooperation programme in Zambia are linked to insufficient knowledge and underdeveloped administration.

In order to manage the risks, projects are prepared carefully, ongoing activities are monitored actively, and the lessons learned from completed projects are taken into account.

​​​​​​​​​Ongoing programmes

Private sector development:

  • EUR 9 million in 2018–2022 to the Accelerated Growth for SME’s in Zambia

  • EUR 8.5 million in 2014–2018 to the Green Jobs Programme

  • EUR 1 million in 2018–2020 to the cooperation between the National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland (THL) and the National Pension Scheme Authority of Zambia (NAPSA)

  • EUR 0.9 million in 2016–2019 for Funds for Local Cooperation.

A more democratic and equal society:

  • EUR 9.6 million in 2016–2018 to the Zambia Social Protection Expansion Programme

  • NGO support to social protection by Save the Children Finland

  • EUR 4.4 million in 2015–2018 to the Decentralized Forest and Other Natural Resources Management Programme

  • EUR 4.6 million in 2015–2019 to the Civil Society Environment Fund II.

In addition, Finland supports regional programmes carried out in Zambia:

  • Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS)

  • Energy and Environment Partnership Southern and East Africa (EEP Africa)

  • Forest and Farm Facility (FFF)

  • EU Social Protection Systems Programme (EU-SPS), implemented by the National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland, and the African Social Protection Leadership Curriculum (TRANSFORM).



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