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Press release from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Focus on SRHR and trade relations as Johan Forssell visits Zambia


Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forsell is visiting Zambia on 14–16 May. Mr Forsell is announcing Sweden’s new strategy for development cooperation, which places a stronger emphasis on women’s and girls’ access to antenatal care and safe abortions.

“We prioritise the promotion of women’s and girls’ ability to freely decide over their lives and bodies in the Government’s reform agenda for humanitarian assistance. I’m visiting one of the Swedish-funded mobile clinics that helps improve access to contraceptives and reduced maternal mortality in Zambia. This is a concrete example of how Swedish development assistance contributes to the freedom of thousands,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forsell. 

Zambia is also an important partner to Sweden and Europe in facilitating green transition and safeguarding free trade. The Government’s overhaul of development assistance policy and new cooperation strategy strengthen the synergies between the trade and aid policies, which in turn has a concrete impact on cooperation with Zambia.

“Swedish development assistance supports local entrepreneurship and a working market economy, which are both crucial for long-term prosperity. We are also visiting Technoserve, which helps small-scale businesses in the food industry scale up in order to export,” Mr Forsell continues.

Sweden has a long-standing commitment to Zambia and is currently the country's third-largest donor of bilateral development assistance. The assistance helps strengthen human rights, democracy and the rule of law and improves conditions for entrepreneurship, trade and the sustainable use of natural resources. Mr Forsell is meeting with the President of the Republic of Zambia and government representatives. He is also visiting a clinic that provides advice on the use of contraceptives and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services and meeting with actors operating in the energy sector.

Sweden’s development cooperation with Zambia

The Government recently adopted a new strategy for Sweden’s development cooperation with Zambia. The strategy amounts to SEK 2.25 billion in 2024–2028 and has three objectives:

1) human rights and freedoms, democracy and the rule of law;
2) economic development and supply; and
3) environmentally and climate-resilient sustainable development.

The new development assistance strategy places a stronger emphasis on SRHR. Through Sweden’s support, girls and women in disadvantaged areas gain improved access to antenatal care and reproductive health services as well as information on their rights.

Sweden’s bilateral support to SRHR in Zambia amounted to SEK 45 million in 2023. In addition, Sweden provides core support to organisations such as UNFPA, UN Women and UNICEF that promote SRHR in Zambia as well. Sweden is also contributing to humanitarian efforts in response to the country’s severe drought and cholera outbreak through core support to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which has allocated USD 8 million to Zambia.

Press contact

Victoria Holmqvist
Press Secretary to Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 76-142 29 39
email to Victoria Holmqvist