PRETORIA – 11th November, 2015 – VETERAN Politician and diplomat, Dr. Vernon Mwaanga has advised Zambians to realise that the economic challenges the country was facing were global and not unique to Zambia.
Dr. Mwaanga said it was not just the Zambian Kwacha that has depreciated against major international currencies but several other countries in Africa and other continents have had their money affected by the current economic trends.
“Zambia is facing challenges like any other country due to the slowing down of the economy in China which has become a major player in international economics. And because of the globalisation of the world, in which we live, everywhere you go on the continent and elsewhere, you will find that it’s the same situation. It’s not just Zambia; these things are not just exclusive to Zambia. African currencies are getting a bashing where ever you go,” Dr Mwaanga said.
He pointed out that he, however, was optimistic that African economies whose growth rates have been revised downwards, will always rebound, partly because the continent still had a lot of natural resources which the rest of the world was after.
Dr. Mwaanga noted that the level of investment into Zambia was high such that everything found in developed economies such as South Africa could be obtained even from Zambia.
Dr. Mwaanga was speaking during a meeting with diplomatic staff at the High Commission of Zambia in Pretoria and some executive committee members of the Zambia South Africa Business Council (ZSABC). Dr. Mwaanga, former diplomat Ms. Chilufya Kapwepwe, Historian Professor Yizenge Chondoloka and First Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda’s son, Kaweche are in Pretoria to make presentations at a seminar organised by Freedom Park on the role Zambia played in the liberation of Southern Africa.
And Dr. Mwaanga said Zambia’s participation in the liberation struggle was driven by the country’s conviction that it would not be free until other African countries gained their independence as well. He said Zambia was not looking at being rewarded by those countries that it assisted. He was quick to point out that it was up to individual countries to identify Zambia’s role and recognise it in the manner they deemed appropriate.
Dr. Mwaanga narrated his experience as a diplomat from the time he took up his appointment at the age of 20 years as deputy high commissioner in London. He was ambassador to Moscow in 1965 and then ambassador to the United Nations in 1972.
He disclosed that he signed the agreement that abolished the requirement for Zambians to hold visas when travelling to South Africa with then South African Foreign Minister, Pik Botha.
Ms. Kapwepwe said she was asked by Freedom Park to organise Zambians who could tell the story about Zambia’s role in the liberation struggle so that it could be documented.
And Mr. Kaunda (Kaweche), who will represent his father at the seminar, took the opportunity to dispel what he described as a long-held myth suggesting that the Kaunda and Kapwepwe families have been at loggerheads from pre-independence times.
“I want to correct this myth that has been there for a long time that the Kaunda family and the Kapwepwes don’t get along. It is not true. The two families come a long way back and we have always been supportive of each other,” Mr. Kaunda said while gesturing at Ms. Kapwepwe who nodded to affirm the remarks.
HIGH COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA IN SOUTH AFRICA
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