Republic of Zambia celebrates ‘Golden Jubilee,’ of independence marked by peaceful government transitions, strong opportunities for economic growth and investment, and lack of war and conflict
WASHINGTON– March 12, 2014 – “Achievements are many, but one that stands out is Zambia has managed to maintain peace and stability for the last 50 years,” Zambian Ambassador to the U.S. Palan Mulonda told Chuck Conconi during an interview on Focus Washington. “We have managed to have two government transitions peacefully, and our democracy, one can argue, is now firmly entrenched.”
As the Republic of Zambia celebrates 50 years of independence, the Ambassador paid tribute to the founding fathers of Zambia in their sacrifice and actions to secure the peace that exists today. “Zambia was created with a motto,” the Ambassador said, “this motto resonated very well. This was “One Zambia, One nation.” And what that means he explained, “was that as a nation, tribe, color, be it any form of distinction was never to be a factor.”
Unlike some other African nations, Zambia does not suffer from the tribal animosities that exist in other places on the continent. “Off course you have tribal identity, but one thing that you realize when you visit Zambia is that we have a lot of intermarriages, and so it is very difficult for one to totally identify with their tribal grouping,” Ambassador Mulonda said, highlighting also that interracial marriages are commonplace. Pointing to just how far the country has gone beyond tribe and race, Ambassador Mulonda pointed out that Zambia is the only country in the world alongside the U.S. that has two people at the helm of their countries of two different races – President Obama and Vice President Biden, and [Zambian] President Michael Sata, and Vice President Dr. Guy Scott, who originally is Scottish.
While other African nations have struggled to maintain peace and stability within the region, the Republic of Zambia has played host to those peoples struggling for liberation.
“We will continue to participate, as a country, in peacekeeping initiatives that are within the region. We have, as you know, played host to hundreds of thousands of refugees from across the continent, and also that we are a small island of peace surrounded by eight countries, so it’s in our own interest to continue to pursue peace on the continent,” Ambassador Mulonda noted. “Not only for our own sake and safety, but for Africa’s sake.”
The Next 50 Years
Working towards the future, and noting Zambia’s Vision 2030 where Zambia sees itself as a middle income country, Ambassador Mulonda stated that Zambia will work towards reducing income inequality and eliminating poverty, grow the economy and attract investment, and a Zambia that is fully emancipated.