Saturday, January 27, 2007

Some Africans in the diaspora deepened wrong views...

‘Market Zambia to the western world’
Zambia Daily Mail 27 January 2007

GOVERNMENT has appealed to Zambians in the diaspora to rise to the challenge of helping to market the country’s investment opportunities and to demystify wrong perceptions of Africa in the western world.

Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, Kabinga Pande, said some Africans in the diaspora deepened wrong views about the continent because they did not bother to take personal responsibility to give the correct picture.

Mr. Pande was giving a lecture to students and lecturers at the University of Reno under the auspices of the Nevada Committee on Foreign Affairs focusing on Africa with special emphasis on Zambia. Mr Pande, who made a co-presentation with Zambia’s Ambassador to the US, Dr Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, said it was the duty of Africans in the diaspora to embark on a crusade to market the continent and Zambia as objectively as possible. The minister also urged Zambians abroad to invest back home and contribute to efforts aimed at strengthening the economy. He said Zambia was an incomparable oasis of peace and political stability in Africa. “It offered an excellent investment environment which Zambians should help to market,” he said. He was confident that tourism would give impetus to the growth of the economy by eight per cent annually by 2010, from the current three per cent. The minister said President Mwanawasa’s administration through fiscal discipline and sound economic policies, had made it possible to bring inflation to a single digit. He challenged intellectuals living abroad to come forward and help improve the economy instead of being critics from a distance. He commended Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika for the role she was playing to market Zambia.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika said Zambia was one of the few African countries that continued to enjoy political stability. She said this had greatly contributed to increased investment and productivity in the nation. She explained that improved fiscal performance had also led to total debt reduction from over US$7 billion to US$500 million following the attainment of the HIPC completion point. She said Zambia was also reputed for embracing democratic governance and observing all human rights conventions.

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