Voters in the 2011 presidential elections in Zambia

Priority area Good governance Transparency and participation

Good governance is vital in facilitating economic development and poverty reduction. Germany is supporting Zambia in developing good financial governance, improving political participation and moving forward the process of decentralisation.

Good financial governance

Support focuses on strengthening transparency and accountability so as to ensure that public funds are used properly and efficiently. Zambia's budget planning, implementation and auditing is often not sufficiently transparent, systematic or structured. Public revenue is too low, corruption is rife and procedures are generally not sufficiently transparent. German experts are supporting the relevant Zambian ministries and the tax authorities in bringing greater transparency and efficiency to budget planning and implementation, increasing tax revenues, reforming public contracting so as to make corruption more difficult, and driving forward the process of fiscal decentralisation.

Public participation

As part of its activities in the field of public participation, Germany is helping to empower civil society to effectively demand in particular more transparency and accountability. It is also helping public institutions to ensure that the state functions in a way that gives the Zambian general public and civil society fair opportunities to participate. The Zambian government is being advised, for instance, on the reform of legislation on civil society organisations and efforts are being made to ensure that the civil society organisations themselves have a say in the process.

Together with the EU, efforts are being made to improve the access of poorer people, in particular, to justice and legal assistance. As a result, the number of people receiving aid from the state legal aid board in the provinces targeted rose from 514 in 2014 to 2,843 in 2017. When remandees receive this kind of support, for example, it often results in shorter detention times.


The Zambian government has set itself the goal of transferring more tasks to local authority level and increasingly delivering government services at local level. This move could greatly increase opportunities for political participation and poverty reduction. Germany is supporting Zambia's efforts to implement this policy of decentralisation. At national level, the responsible coordinating body within cabinet and also the responsible ministries are being advised. In addition, selected local authorities are receiving support directly on issues like budget planning, financial management, spatial planning and service orientation. Support is also being provided for the expansion of municipal infrastructure (bus stations, markets) and the modernisation of an administrative college where municipal officials are trained.

A number of districts in Southern Province that are being hit particularly hard by climate change are being helped to make adaptation plans and establish a climate-resistant infrastructure. This should ensure that basic public services can be delivered even under extreme weather conditions.