Editor's Comment

Yes, only Zambians can develop Zambia

BRITISH Deputy High Commissioner Andrew Hamilton says Zambia’s development will not be delivered by external partners but its young and talented individuals.
Mr Hamilton expressed these sentiments at an event to welcome 17 Zambians who were studying in the UK under the prestigious Chevening scholarship.
We could not agree more with Mr Hamilton’s sentiments.
No matter how much goodwill and investment we attract from our foreign partners, Zambia can never develop without the involvement of its citizens, especially the young and gifted.
This is because attaining significant development demands a lot of sacrifice which can only be given by those who are truly attached and patriotic.
On the other hand, our partners, no matter how genuine, can only sacrifice as far as their interests go.
For instance, investors will only invest in areas which are deemed lucrative to them.
They will not necessarily go out of their way to invest in areas which are less profitable yet top on our development agenda.
Zambians, therefore, need to understand that the responsibility to develop this country lies squarely on their shoulders.
Every citizen needs to come on board and “die a little” for mother Zambia.
History has shown that countries world over that have developed, citizens paid the price.
For instance, the United States of America, China, Japan, Singapore to mention just a few, were all developed by their own citizens.
It is, however, saddening that we have so many citizens who have no clue on the role they have to play in the development of our country.
They are narrowly focused on personal gain overlooking the bigger picture of national development.
Sadly, even some of those who have had the privilege of attaining a higher education seem not to understand their role in the country’s development agenda.
Every year, both local and international institutions of churn out thousands of graduates.
However, we do not need to be rocket scientists to construe that the number of graduates the country has produced since independence does not reflect in the level of development attained so far.
This is because many Zambians have their arms folded waiting for foreigners to develop the country for them.
Worse still, there are professionals like doctors leaving the country for greener pastures.
While it is understood that these professionals deserve better for their expertise, it is an act of unpatriotism for one to go and help develop another country, neglecting their own.
We, however, acknowledge that there are also dedicated citizens who are sacrificing and contributing to the development of this country.
That is what is expected of all Zambians, especially our learned and vibrant youths.
Young people should understand that the future of this country is in their hands.
While our founding fathers did their part by delivering political independence and stability, young people need to carry on with the baton by working towards economic emancipation.
It is for this reason that we join Mr Hamilton in calling on the Chevening scholarship beneficiaries to help develop the country through their acquired skills.
As Mr Hamilton noted, the UK funds the Chevening scholarships in a bid to develop leaders and support self-development of individuals who want to make positive change in the communities, workplace and the country needs to be assured that its investment is not in vain.
And the best way to do so is to help the country transition to a developed one.
Above all, with or without foreign help, the responsibility to develop this country lies squarely on every citizen, especially the younger generation.

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