PRETORIA – 11th November, 2015 – PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is committed to uplifting the status of the marginalised in society as he has partly demonstrated through his ambitious agenda of empowering women through appointments to decision making positions.
The President’s desire to see a society represented by more women in key positions has been well defined through his appointment of Zambia’s first female vice-president, several females at Cabinet and deputy ministerial level, and government departments and institutions.
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba said this in Pretoria yesterday when he met United Kingdom Member of Parliament (House of Lords), Baroness Elizabeth Barker, when she paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Pretoria. Baroness Barker, under the auspices of the Volunteer Services Organisation (VSO) International, will be in Zambia next week as part of her tour of selected African countries.
She was accompanied by Parliamentary Relations Manager Ms. Heather Alcock and Mr. Onias Hlungwani who is Advocacy, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager for the Regional Health and AIDS Initiative for Southern Africa (RHAISA) which is a flagship programme under VSO.
Mr. Mwamba pointed out that he was glad that VSO has identified local communities as key partners in their projects as this would ensure that beneficiaries received the right kind of support. He noted that it was important for the donor community to understand the culture or customs of the intended beneficiaries to avoid wastage of resources.
VSO plans to lobby Zambian members of Parliament as well as take some of their programmes to prisons and other communities around Zambia. The organisation focuses on ending forced marriages, HIV interventions and reproductive health issues.
Mr. Mwamba told Baroness Barker that President Lungu was concerned about prison conditions and that he was keen to transform the facilities into habitable places hence the recent approval by Cabinet to allow private sector participation in setting up prison facilities.
And Baroness Barker said VSO has received money from the Swiss government which it meant to use on its prison HIV intervention programmes, among others.
“We feel it is important to take these initiatives to the prisons because these prisoners will one day leave prison and get into the communities. It is indirectly putting an investment into the communities,” she said.
HIGH COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA IN SOUTH AFRICA
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