The United States has announced an $80 million (1.6 billion Kwacha) grant to Zambia that will supply four Bell 412EP helicopters to the Zambia Air Force with three years of service, parts, and training for the helicopters.
During a press conference, Zambia Air Force Major General Oscar Nyoni thanked the U.S. government for the donation, noting that this grant will enable the Zambia Air Force to better support the domestic needs of Zambia, regional security, and UN peacekeeping missions abroad.
Commander of U.S. Africa Command General Michael Langley made the announcement at the Africa Senior Enlisted Leaders Conference (ASELC), which the United States and Zambia co-hosted from September 10-13.
This annual conference convened senior enlisted leaders from approximately 30 African countries to discuss mutual challenges and opportunities, including crisis response, rule of law, protecting natural resources, addressing instability, and strengthening security cooperation.
Zambia is the first African nation to host the ASELC.
During his two-day visit to Zambia, General Langley met with Zambian Minister of Defence Ambrose Lufuma to discuss strengthening the U.S.-Zambia security partnership.
He also met members of the Zambia Defence Force (ZDF) to discuss women, peace, and security efforts in the Zambian military and to learn how the ZDF has been so successful in integrating women into all ranks and career fields.
Additionally, General Langley visited a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) “Stop Gender-Based Violence” program at Munali Boys Secondary School to learn how the project is empowering boys and men to be champions against gender-based violence using the “Coaching Boys into Men” activity.