Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia today hosted the Annual Greeting of the Diplomatic Corps at State House in Lusaka

His Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia today hosted the Annual Greeting of the Diplomatic Corps at State House in Lusaka.
Photo Courtesy of Salim Henry/State House and Smart Eagles.
The event was convened virtually owing to restrictions posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The President began his address by observing a moment of silence in honour of His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, late President of the United Republic of Tanzania who died on 17th March, 2021.

In his remarks, the President noted that Zambia’s international engagements yielded positive results despite 2020 having been an extremely difficult year. 

The Head of State highlighted the on-going Lusaka city roads decongestion project; the construction of health posts across the country, the conference centre set to host the African Union Summit in 2022, and the Kazungula Bridge Project, among the achievements.

The President alluded to the signed bilateral agreements and Zambia’s commitments at various international fora aimed at facilitating socio-economic advancements of mutual benefit. 

The Head of State emphasised the need to ensure full implementation for intended benefits at regional, continental and global levels.

The President expressed gratitude to the Diplomats and their respective governments and organisations for their financial, technical, investment, material and moral support towards debt relief and suspension, disaster management, food security and the Covid-19 response, among other areas.

The President noted the challenges posed by Covid-19 and climate change and emphasised the need for concerted efforts in

observing public health guidelines, sharing best practices, expertise, technologies, innovations, and resources.

On peace and security, the Head of State expressed concern about the on-going and emerging global threats whose spill-over effect have far-reaching consequences to neighbouring countries, regions and the global community at large. 

Thee President stated that Zambia continues to play an active role in the maintenance of peace and security at regional and continental levels through contribution of troops for peacekeeping missions; participation in mediation efforts; hosting refugees; and implementation of resolutions to bolster peace and security.

The President stated that Zambia remained engaged on global affairs with the country having participated in virtual meetings hosted by the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), among others, through the use of information communication technology.

At the AU, the President alluded to Zambia’s support for the extension of the implementation of the African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silencing the Guns in Africa from 2021 to 2030 including the extension of the commemoration and conduct of the Africa Amnesty Month in September annually.

At SADC level, the President noted that the annual Summit and the Council of Ministers were successfully convened and various issues aimed at addressing regional cooperation, integration and socio-economic development were discussed. 

The President reiterated Zambia’s commitment to promoting peace and security in the region and across the African continent through continued and effective participation at various fora such as SADC, AU and the United Nations.

On climate change, the President looked forward to the next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic where countries are expected to chart the way forward. 

The President stated that Zambia had continued to implement programmes aimed at adaptation, mitigation and sustainable natural resources management to address the extreme weather patterns and its attendant effects. 

The Head of State thanked the cooperating partners in the energy sector and called for more investment and diversification.

On the economic front, the President stated that the Economic Recovery Programme is a home-grown solution launched on 18th December, 2021 to restore growth and safeguard livelihoods through macroeconomic stability, economic diversification and debt sustainability. 

The President stated that the programme is timely as it will feed into the formulation of the eighth National Development Plan (8NDP). 

The Head of State expressed gratitude for the support rendered towards the implementation of the seventh National Development Plan and appealed for further assistance towards the implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan.

On elections, the President revealed that the Government will soon commence the process of sending invitations for the deployment of regional and international electoral observation missions to Zambia to observe the general elections slated for 12th August, 2021. 

Thee President stated that the Government considers local, regional and international election observers as partners in strengthening the country’s democracy. 

The President reiterated the Government’s commitment to delivering free, fair and transparent elections and ensuring law and order.

The President underscored the importance of international cooperation and concerted efforts in addressing various challenges.

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