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Provincial ministers China visit should yield fruit

TEN provincial ministers yesterday left the country on a nine-day trip to China to attend a series of workshops and exchange experiences in various sectors of the economy.
The ministers have been invited by the Chinese government and are expected back in the country on Independence Day, October 24.
While the ministers are in China, they will also visit Chinese companies and we are confident they will have much to learn from there.
This trip comes at a time when the country is looking at diversifying the economy and such visits to countries we consider more developed than ours are usually a blessing.
China remains an all-weather friend of Zambia, a friendship that spans from the 70’s with the construction of the Tanzania Zambia railway line.
It is this friendship that is still flourishing today and perhaps even growing deeper, as can be seen from the growing areas of co-operation.
Government continues in its quest to bring development closer to the people through the construction of various infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and schools.
From these activities, we have a good share of Chinese assistance in the form of contractors who are carrying out some of these projects, a sign of the relationship the two countries enjoy.
The invitation of our ministers is a deepening of that relationship and an opportunity for our ministers to learn something from the Chinese in the sectors they will visit during their stay.
Time and time again, President Lungu has directed ministers to work hard and bring development to the people in line with the PF manifesto.
As provincial ministers, they have the responsibility to champion development at that level and to their advantage is the untapped potential in a number of sectors in the provinces.
Each province has abundant water and land for development purposes, people as a resource, potential in tourism, mining, agriculture, in all its forms, as some of the possible areas of fostering development.
For the ministers visiting China, one way to bring development to the people is by learning how other people in some parts of world are doing it and how they are contributing towards economic growth.
This is the task that awaits our ministers upon their return. They are acting on behalf of the President and they are our envoys to bring us new ideas and propel the country towards development.
The mix of our ministers going to China offers them a chance to come back with good ideas that can be implemented back home for the development of the country.
We therefore hope that our ministers see this trip as a time to learn a number of things and bring them back home so that they are implemented within the local context for the benefit of the electorate.
With its level of development, Zambia has much to learn from China. The visits to Chinese industries will broaden the ministers’ understanding of industry there and they will garner some lessons that can benefit their provinces.
The President is looking up to them to come back with ideas they will implement back home so through this, they create employment and help improve the livelihoods of the electorate.
We are only concerned about how, sometimes, government way of doing things delays the implementation of programmes, and we hasten to say that with the development drive in gear now, it is important to bear this in mind.
The country is waiting for the ministers to bring back workable ideas so that the country continues with the development momentum.