Zambia has mourned Dr Freddie Kwesiga, search a Ugandan economist who passed on after a short illness in Nairobi on Sunday.
At the time of his death which friends and relatives described “shocking” and “crushing”, Dr Kwesiga was the African Development Bank’s Resident Representative to Zambia.
The country’s Finance Ministry expressed “its deepest sorrow on the passing of Dr Kwesiga” in a statement seen by ChimpReports on Tuesday.
“During the six years of service in Zambia, Dr. Kwesiga has been instrumental in leading the Bank’s contribution to supporting the Government’s development agenda which extensively covered support to agriculture, infrastructure, energy and other poverty reducing initiatives,” said the Ministry.
“Dr. Kwesiga made it his personal ambition to contribute to the transformation of lives, especially for the poor and marginalized, through the African Development Bank by supporting and facilitating processes that empower them with resources, knowledge, skills, voice and confidence.”
He has also been instrumental in mitigating the negative effects of poverty, food and fuel insecurity caused by environmental degradation through projects such as the climate resilience project in the river basins of Western Province and in Itezhi-Tezhi in Central Province.
Brian Mutungi Ntambirweki, whose father, Prof John Ntambirweki was Kwesiga’s best friend, said, “We lost a great man. Very loving, very selfless and very down-to-earth.”
He added: “Uncle Fred your legacy is your family whether by blood or association, you always said there is DNA and DNA+. You are that piece that kept us together, so thoughtful with so much invaluable wisdom and advice. Words can’t express how much we miss you. I know you are in a better place but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.”
It is during Dr. Kwesiga’s tour of duty that Zambia was reclassified as a blend country being able to borrow both African Development Fund (concessional) and African Development Bank (non-concessional) resources. This has increased the Bank’s resource availability to Zambia.
The Zambia Finance Ministry said it had enjoyed a very warm working relationship with Dr. Kwesiga.
“We found him to be a very dedicated, practical and frank person. The Government of Zambia will miss his services and commitment to the African Development Bank and through the Bank, his contributions to the welfare of the People of Zambi,” said Alexander B. Chikwanda, Governor of The AfDB Board & Minister of Finance.
“May I, on behalf of the people and Government of Zambia, extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, and the President and staff of the Bank on the loss of this gallant and diligent citizen of Africa. He was indeed a rare breed.”
Dr Kwesiga will be laid to rest in Uganda this week.