President Edgar Lungu has thanked the British government for its decision to resume funding to Zambia’s health sector.
And President Lungu has insisted that the adverse effects of climate change have the potential to undermine developmental gains.
Speaking when Heads of Commissions from 15 countries presented their credentials to him, Thursday, President Lungu said the British government’s decision to resume funding to Zambia’s health sector would help Zambia attain its intended coverage for all.
“Your Excellency Mr. Nicholas Kerrison Wooley, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to the Republic of Zambia: my government values the close ties between Zambia and the United Kingdom, a reflection of our longstanding relations. Zambia remains grateful for your government’s continued economic and technical support rendered to the country’s development agenda. This support has been rendered to key sectors such as health, education, economic reform programmes, public service reforms and good governance programmes. Let me take this opportunity to express my government’s profound gratitude to the British government’s decision, to resume funding to Zambia’s health sector in the wake of financial reforms that the Zambian government has put in place. This will indeed help Zambia attain its intended universal health coverage for all,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu asked the newly appointed diplomats to partner with Zambia in addressing climate change.
“Your excellencies: I wish to draw your attention to an issue that requires our cooperation. The just ended united nations climate action summit, which I was privileged to attend, resolved to accelerate our momentum to address the climate change crisis. The commitments ranged from cutting carbon emissions, scaling up financial commitments and contributions to the green climate fund, and included an unprecedented level of private sector pledges of commitments. There is need for us to maintain this momentum as the adverse effects of climate change have the potential to undermine our developmental gains. I therefore, urge your excellencies to work with us, as we diligently tackle this phenomenon that affects us all,” President Lungu said.
President Edgar Lungu took time to address the Ambassadors individually, focussing on specific areas of mutual interest between their countries and Zambia.
To the Italian Ambassador, Dr Antonino Maggiore, President Lungu appealed for Italian investors to set up joint ventures with Zambians, or partner with government through private-public-partnerships or foreign direct investment
To the Ambassador of the Republic of Angola to Zambia, Azevedo Xavier Francisco, President Lungu said there was a clear statement of willingness for both countries to work to together as evidenced by the visa abolition agreement.
And to the Ambassador of Burundi, Pascal Ruhomvyumworo, President Lungu called said it was paramount that the two countries collaborated in exploiting the immense potential in the mining industries, and to pursue value addition to this important sector.
To the High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana to Zambia, Alpheus Matlhaku, President Lungu hoped the two countries would continue working closely to further development and integration of our region, as well as enhancing trade and investment at bilateral level.
He also wished the people of Botswana a peaceful electoral process reflective of the countries’ mature democracy.
“As members of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Zambia and Botswana have a mutual responsibility to ensure the promotion and maintenance of peace and security in the SADC region. our governments will therefore continue to work closely to further development and integration of our region, as well as enhancing trade and investment at bilateral level.as Botswana heads to the polls this month, October, I wish the government and people of Botswana, a peaceful electoral process reflective of Botswana’s mature democracy,”
Meanwhile, to the High Commissioner of South Africa George Nkosinati Twala, President Lungu said he looked forward to meeting his counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa at the first Zambia – South Africa bi-national commission (BNC) meeting.
“Bilateral relations between Zambia and south Africa have continued to grow from strength to strength over the years, as evidenced by the exchange of high level visits between our two countries.in this regard, I look forward to meeting my counterpart, his excellency Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa at the 1st Zambia – south Africa bi-national commission (BNC) meeting. This platform will provide an opportunity for us to fully harness our economic potential,” he said.
To the Head of the European Union delegation to Zambia and Comesa, Jacek Jankowski, President Lungu expressed gratitude for the continued economic and technical support rendered to Zambia especially in key sectors such as energy, water and sanitation projects, public financial management systems, HIV/AIDS programmes, as well as gender based violence programmes.
To the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to the Republic of Zambia Anna Maj Gabriella Hultgård, President Lungu said he was keen to see greater cooperation in fostering trade and investment aimed at job creation and poverty alleviation for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
To the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Zambia, Santiago Gomez-acebo Rodgriguez-Spiteri, President Lungu said the tourism memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries in 2018 would transform the tourism sector.
“I am aware that Zambia and Spain have continued to cooperate in various fields. I wish to applaud the signing of the tourism memorandum of understanding (MOU) between our two countries in 2018. This, your excellency, will definitely transform the tourism, arts and cultural sector of the republic of Zambia into a viable and sustainable industry capable of significantly contributing to the national gross domestic product (GDP), job creation and above all, poverty reduction. It is therefore, my hope that the good relations we enjoy will be further strengthened through similar cooperation,”
And to the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Zambia Khalifa Abdurmarzoogi, President Lungu said there was still potential for the two countries to explore the possibility of expanding cooperation in various fields, including finance, mining, energy, and most importantly, the tourism sector.
To the ambassador of Seychelles to Zambia, Marie-Antoinette rose-Quatre, President Lungu hoped that friendly relations would continue by exploring further areas of cooperation and boosting trade and investment would be enhanced.
To the ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Vu Ngoc Minh, President Lungu hoped that the two countries would enhance cooperation in agriculture and other sectors to promote economic and social development.
To the Ambassador of the Bolivarian republic of Venezuela to Zambia: Marlon José Pena Labrador, President Lungu said he looked forward to Zambia exploring various ways to derive enormous benefits from cooperation in military, education and various fields.
Meanwhile, to the Ambassador of the republic of Guinea to Zambia Gen Edouard, President Lungu said he looked forward to expand the cordial relations between the two countries
To the Ambassador of the republic of Guatemala to Zambia Acisclo Valladares Molina, President Lungu said the two countries shared common aspirations focused on improving investment climate and diversification of economies.
President Lungu hoped that the bilateral cooperation’s with respective countries would be further strengthened.
“Zambia attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with all countries represented here, which are based on mutual respect, trust and cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral levels. Therefore, I am confident that during your tenure in Zambia, the existing warm relations and bilateral cooperation with your respective countries will be further strengthened. All our countries aspire to live in peace and stability, as well as fostering development in a sustainable manner for the betterment of our peoples. these ideals as outlined in the united nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals (SDGs) and other development frameworks require that we collaborate closely to foster development, and resolve global challenges related to conflicts and humanitarian crises. I therefore invite your respective governments to partner with us, as we strive to achieve the objectives which are clearly articulated in Zambia’s seventh national development plan,” said President Lungu.