Editor's Comment

President walking the foreign policy talk

LUNGU

SINCE taking office in 2015, President Lungu has been bent on fulfilling his promise of leaving this country better than he found it.

During his inauguration and as captured in the Seventh National Development Plan, President Lungu has placed emphasis on the diversification of the economy.
This is in a bid to develop the country while pushing the agenda of attaining a middle-income status by 2030.
However, to achieve economic diversification and improve the living standards of the people, President Lungu acknowledges the role diplomatic relations play.
It is an established fact that no single country can or has ever developed all by itself regardless of how vast its resource base is.
This is because to a large extent, development is a product of exposure and learning experiences from others that have gone ahead.
Most of the developments we enjoy today in the areas of technology, agriculture, infrastructure, education and so forth are as a result of our interactions with other countries.
President Lungu should therefore be commended for being proactive and aggressive in pursuing the national foreign policy in a bid to enhance economic co-operation and promote trade and investment.
Given that we live in a global world, where countries have increasingly become interdependent in the areas of trade, technology and many others, it is only wise for any country to take steps that will help derive benefits from other countries across the globe.
This is what President Lungu has been doing. He has been working to consolidate Zambia’s relations with other countries by undertaking state visits and inviting foreign leaders.
Though this has not settled well with armchair critics, who think it is a waste of resources, the benefits which include massive investments, knowledge transfers and reciprocal visits by other heads of state are there to speak for themselves.
In his continued efforts to cement as many relations as possible, both on the continent and on the globe, President Lungu yesterday honoured the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi to visit that country.
We commend the President for standing by what is good for the country that is, walking the talk of foreign policy despite heavy criticism from his opponents.
It should be understood that some of these critics are hypocrites who, despite understanding the importance of diplomatic relations, choose to criticise. This is because criticising is taken by some as a way of making themselves visible and relevant.
These are people not worthy paying attention to, because if given a similar opportunity, they would do exactly what they are speaking against now.
Like many other visits undertaken by President Lungu, we expect to benefit from strengthened bilateral relations between the two countries.
And as noted by Zambia’s Ambassador to Egypt Topply Lubaya, the interaction between the two heads of state will result in a number of memorandum of understandings (MoUs) in the area of health, youth, sport and tourism, among others.
This is certainly a critical step in accelerating the diversification agenda.
Gen Lubaya said while in Egypt, President Lungu will visit the industrial and economic zone to appreciate the developments being undertaken and later tour Elsewedy, a company that manufactures electricity transformers and pre-paid meters.
The head of State will also visit the Suez Canal, one of the country’s major ports and emerging fishing zones.
As rightly pointed out by Gen Lubaya, the visit to the Suez Canal in particular, will help the President to explore more ideas to expand the industry back home.
We all know that Mr Lungu is passionate about developing our aquaculture industry in a bid to stop importing the commodity, thereby reducing the trade deficit and at the same time improving nutrition for many Zambians.
Zambia also has much to learn from that country’s successful tourism sector and technological advancements.
As a country that is still developing, enhanced diplomatic interaction is certainly the way to go.
It is our hope that the technocrats in the President’s entourage will learn as much as possible for modification and application back home.

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