Zambia celebrates 52nd Independence Anniversary
HE Mr Emmanuel Mwamba, High Commissioner of Zambia to South Africa hosted a reception to celebrate Zambia's 52nd Independence Anniversary. In his remarks High Commissioner Mwamba thanked the various governments for their congratulatory messages on the successful election of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu as President. The elections were widely described as free and fair which highlights Zambia's political stability and peaceful environment.
Photo: Zambia's High Commissioner to South Africa His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba (extreme right) proposes a toast at the celebrations to mark Zambia's 52nd Independence anniversary in Pretoria on 21st October, 2016. Joining in are Guest of Honour, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Mr. Gugile Nkwiti (2nd right), Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Mr. Bene M'poko and Mrs. Monde Mwamba
High Commissioner Mwamba also assured investors that Zambia remains a very attractive investment destination, with the Zambia Development Agency having received even higher investment pledges in the recent months.
SPEECH BY H.E. MR. EMMANUEL MWAMBA, HIGH COMMISSIONER OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA TO SOUTH AFRICA AT THE 52ND INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS ON 21ST OCTOBER, 2016 – ZAMBIA HOUSE, PRETORIA
The Guest of Honour, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr. Gugile Nkwinti;
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Mr. Bene M’poko;
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners;
Zambia’s Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa, Ms. Philomena Kachesa;
Representatives of the Department of International Relations & Cooperation, and other South African Government Departments;
Representatives of the Zambia Association in South Africa;
Distinguished executives and partners from various organisations;
Members of the press;
Ladies and gentlemen;
I wish to take this opportunity to warmly welcome you all to Zambia House and in particular to our national day as we celebrate 52 years of independence. It is a great honour and privilege for me to address this distinguished audience particularly now when we have just successfully held yet another round of elections which saw our President, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, retained for another five years.
The elections, which local and international observer missions desribed as free and fair, once again highlight Zambia’s political stability and peaceful environment. We have so far managed to install six Presidents without major upheaval since independence in 1964.
The President was subsequently sworn-in on 13th September, 2016 as President of the Republic of Zambia for a period running from 2016 to 2021.
In this vein, I wish to express my sincere gratitude on behalf of the Government and the people of Zambia for the kind messages of congratulations received from your respective Governments to our President on his electoral victory.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen;
We are excited this afternoon to have such distinguished guests with us as we celebrate our independence under the theme: “Consolidating our Independence and National Unity for a Smart Zambia.” This theme was carefully crafted so that it could fit in with the country’s current resolve to open a new beginning as an even more united people so that we can move our great nation to greater prosperity.
Zambia greatly values the commemoration of our independence anniversary because this reminds us of the objectives that our forefathers fought to attain, not only for Zambia, but for all other countries in Africa and beyond that were seeking self-rule. Today we stand proud and we are able to celebrate our day with a free conscious because the entire continent has now been liberated. Zambia’s selfless dedication, through her efforts and resources, to the liberation struggle is well documented and is partly evidenced through our hosting of several exiled liberation fighters around the region who found Zambia a safe haven.
I am sure that a good number of us gathered here will attest to the fact that the story of the liberation movement in Southern Africa cannot be told without the mention of Zambia or the name of the country’s first Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. It was Dr. Kaunda who strongly advocated an end to apartheid in South Africa by giving the African National Congress (ANC), sanctuary in Zambia. Several other liberation fighters from other countries on the continent where also hosted by Zambia.
Despite being a young nation, Zambia took on a huge responsibility and became the headquarters of the ANC in 1967. It is no wonder that the late South African leader President Nelson Mandela, two weeks after his release from prison, first ventured into Zambia as his first destination outside South Africa.
This stands to show how strong and how far back the relations between Zambia and South Africa go. Zambia has never looked back but continues to look ahead and build on this foundation for mutual benefit. Our leaders, from Dr. Kaunda right through to our current President His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, have continued working to strengthen these relations.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen;
In taking these relations forward, it is encouraging that Zambia and South Africa have continued being close trading partners. South African investment in the areas of agriculture, construction, trading and various services have continued moving into Zambia, thereby contributing to the development of the country. There are, however, some issues such as the trade imbalance which we believe, with the usual cooperation from South Africa, can be assessed and addressed.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen;
I would like, through you Your Excellencies, to take this opportunity to assure investors from your countries that Zambia still remains a very attractive investment destination, with the Zambia Development Agency having received even higher investment pledges in the recent months.
Ladies and gentlemen;
You will remember when we met here last year that Zambia was at that time facing the most challenging energy shortage we have ever experienced just like many other countries on the continent. This energy crisis has played a part in our economic downturn over the past months. This is because beyond the expanded activities in the mining sector and other areas of the economy, there has also been an increase in household electricity connectivity, all drawing from the same and almost static source of power.
In order to address this, Government is working towards ensuring that energy security is assured in the short-to-the medium term, with a diversified energy mix.
Public investments in energy projects are on course and are expected to be completed on schedule. Our partners in the private sector have responded positively to the new policy environment and we expect considerable additional power onto the national grid over the next three years.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
As I conclude, let me thank AFGRI Limited, Paramount Group, African Rainbow Minerals and Loita Capital Partners for being such great partners in hosting this event. They have been our all-weather friends for several years now.
It would be inappropriate to end without recognising my wife’s invaluable role that she has played from behind the scenes in hosting everyone this afternoon.
Let me also thank my diplomatic and local team with their spouses who worked as a unit to successfully put this event together.
High Commission of Zambia in Preroria, South Africa