Welcome to Zambia
His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu
The President of the Republic of Zambia
A warm welcome to Zambia
Welcome to the Commonwealth of Nations website and the Zambian section in particular. I am pleased, on behalf of my country, to be part of this important development. I wish to begin by thanking the Commonwealth of Nations for according Zambia an opportunity to feature on this site. It is my hope that visitors to this site will have an opportunity to learn more about our country.
Zambia recognises the important role the Commonwealth has continued to play in the development processes of member countries since its formation in 1947. The association has been instrumental in fostering understanding amongst its members to be able to co-operate in dealing with their various social, political and economic concerns.
Through bodies such as the Commonwealth Foundation, the Commonwealth of Learning, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, the Commonwealth Youth Programme, the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management and the Commonwealth Business Council, Zambia has greatly benefited in many areas ranging from development aid, democracy and good governance, youth development projects and capacity building, among others.
I wish to take this opportunity to reaffirm Zambia’s commitment to the Commonwealth’s fundamental values and principles including tolerance, respect, international peace and security, democracy, good governance, human rights, gender equality, rule of law, independent judiciary, freedom of expression and a political culture that promotes transparency, accountability and economic development.
Zambia in the Sun: our vision, our work
It is over two and half years since my administration took over government following a popular electoral victory by our party in the 20th September 2011 general elections. It has been a period of hard work by the Patriotic Front party in government, working to the make the necessary reforms the peaceful people of Zambia overwhelmingly demanded through the ballot.
My government came into power to address the many social and economic challenges facing the Zambian people so as to restore their dignity and past glory. This is in line with the Patriotic Front vision, enshrined in our manifesto which states and I quote: “the citizens of this land, not only deserve better lives but are entitled to better lives.”
Zambia is a viable multi-party democracy with a distinct seperation of powers between and among the three arms of government: legislature (parliament), executive (cabinet) and judiciary (courts of law). The people elect the President and members of parliament by universal suffrage. The parliament, headed by the Speaker of the National Assembly, comprises 150 elected members and up to eight members nominated by the President. The Supreme Court is the Highest Court of Appeal and is headed by the Chief Justice.
Zambia has a pleasant tropical climate that is characterised by humid subtropical or tropical wet and dry conditions, with small stretches of semi-arid climate in the southwest and along the Zambezi Valley. The seasonal variations in temperature and rainfall are wide with the month of October being the hottest. There are three main seasons: November to April (wet); September to October (hot & dry); and May to August (cool & dry).
Located in the southern Africa sub-region, Zambia is a landlocked country covering an area of 752,614 sq. km of which 11,890 sq. km is covered by water, the country is bordered by Tanzania (in the north), Malawi (in the east), Mozambique (in the south-east), Zimbabwe (in the south), Botswana and Namibia (in the South West), Angola (in the west) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (in the north-west).
Our jubilee, our prosperity!
As President, I am happy to take this opportunity to inform the Commonwealth of Nations that Zambia did this community proud by successfully co-hosting with Zimbabwe, the highest ever-attended United Nations World Tourism Organization General Assembly in August 2013, attracting a record over 4,000 delegates from across the globe. The event has helped to raise Zambia’s image as a tourist destination of choice.
I take this opportunity too, to inform the Commonwealth that, this year, in October 2014, Zambia commemorates its 50th independence anniversary, the Golden Jubilee. The theme of the celebrations is: “Commemorating God’s Favour of Zambia’s 50 years of Independence for continued Peace, Unity, Democracy, Patriotism and Prosperity.” This is an opportunity for the country to reflect on its achievements and challenges and at the same time an occasion to motivate and energise ourselves as a united people to face the future with resolve.
Under the Patriotic Front government, the performance of the economy has continued to be positive, recording growth in the gross domestic product of 6.8 percent and 7.3 percent in 2011 and 2012 respectively. This growth was driven by the transport, communications, construction, agriculture, trade and manufacturing sectors.
Inflation has remained at single digit, recorded at 7.1 percent as at end of august 2013. Lending rates have fallen from an average of 20 percent in 2012 to 16.3 percent.
Efforts to diversify the economy will be guided by the national vision 2030, the revised Sixth National Development Plan (2013- 2016) and the Decentralisation Policy. The focus will be on the key areas of agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, tourism, science and technology. Our goal is to achieve higher and sustained economic growth in order to alleviate poverty through rural development and job creation.
My government will continue to implement programmes and activities aimed at attracting and promoting investment into the country. In addition, government will also streamline business registration, licencing and granting of incentives in order to create a competitive business environment and maximise economic growth activities.
In 2013, the government targeted to attract foreign direct investment amounting to US$3 billion. I am pleased to inform the international business community that as at 30th June 2013, approved projects were above the target and amounted to US$3.56 billion.
This performance was against the prevailing slow growth in the global economy. This is a re-affirmation of Zambia’s investment attractiveness and position as a top investment destination by foreign investors.
Mining has continued to be a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings and employment and therefore my government will continue creating an enabling environment for mines development.
Government has prioritised infrastructure development, such as, roads, airports and rail as key to national development. We have made heavy invests in the construction, rehabilitation and upgrading of the transport infrastructure. With respect to airport infrastructure, the government has completed the up-grading and modernisation of the Livingstone airport to international standards and is doing the same for another on the Copperbelt. The main airport in Lusaka will also this year undergo massive expansion and modernisation.
The government will continue to uphold the fundamental principles of sovereign equality and mutual respect. The government will, therefore, strive to ensure that Zambia continues to play an active role in international organisations for the benefit of the country.
Our foreign policy is aimed at repositioning our country so that it derives maximum benefits from international relations. To this effect, the government will continue to maintain friendly diplomatic and trade relations with other countries. Priority will be given to economic diplomacy as a means to promoting the revitalisation of the country’s economy.
In conclusion, let me take this opportunity to invite the business community, worldwide, to consider coming to Zambia to invest in sectors such as mining, agriculture, tourism, energy and infrastructure and other sectors of their choice. My government assures them an enabling environment for their businesses to thrive and guarantees security. Come and be part of Zambia’s great march in this year of our Golden Jubilee.
I thank you.