Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Levy calls on Zambians abroad to invest at home

Levy calls on Zambians abroad to invest at home
By Charles Mangwato in Mbabane, Swaziland
Tuesday September 04, 2007 [04:00]

PRESIDENT Levy Mwanawasa has urged Zambians living abroad to invest back home to help boost the country's economy. And President Mwanawasa yesterday joined King Mswati III in gracing the popular Umhlanga or reed dance ceremony in Swaziland, which attracts thousands of local people and foreigners.

Addressing Zambians living in Swaziland at the Royal Villas in Mbabane on Sunday night, President Mwanawasa said Zambians living abroad could greatly contribute to the country's foreign exchange earnings by ploughing back.

President Mwanawasa challenged Zambians to emulate other nationals from other countries who were known for investing in their countries of origin from their earnings made abroad.
There are currently over 200 Zambian families said to be living in Swaziland, most of whom are medical doctors, engineers, nurses, teachers and other highly skilled professionals working in the private and government institutions.

President Mwanawasa said government had created a right working environment for business, which Zambians living abroad could exploit.
He said the government attracted investments into the country to help create jobs, a situation that could help in achieving high revenue from income tax.

President Mwanawasa said improved revenue could facilitate development of infrastructure and the provision of good social services to people.
He further said the economy had in the past six years grown by an average of five per cent with this year's growth projected between six to seven per cent.

President Mwanawasa also said unemployment, which stood at 87 per cent when he took over office, had significantly reduced to 75 per cent due to the opening of new mines and other investments.
On education, President Mwanawasa expressed concern at the frequent and premature closures of the University of Zambia (UNZA) due to student unrest.

He said the closures resulting from violent protests in which property is damaged had compromised the quality of education at the highest institution of learning.
President Mwanawasa said the university calendar now lagged behind as a result of the frequent closures.

The President's remarks followed concerns raised by Zambians in that country over the situation surrounding students at UNZA.
He said due to the delayed academic calendar, most school leavers had to wait for about one year to enlist into university.

President Mwanawasa said the government was pleading with the students not to resort to protests for the administration to close their institution as doing so had negatively affected the quality of education.

He said government wanted the students to receive quality education.
And President Mwanawasa, who was chief guest at the ceremony held at Ludzidzini in the valley of Ezulwini, danced alongside King Mswati and South Africa's African National Congress deputy president Jacob Zuma while wielding a club in line with the norms of the Swazi ceremony.

Zambia's ambassador accredited to Mozambique, Swaziland and Mauritius George Chulumanda and foreign affairs minister Kabinga Pande were part of the group that performed the reed dance.
At the beginning of the celebrations, over 100,000 girls aged below 22, clad in short beaded skirts and tops exposing one breast, marched past the platform where President Mwanawasa and the first lady, the king, Queen mother Ndlovukazi and other royal family members sat.

The procession of the girls earlier marched carrying long reeds in their hands, which they deposited at some point before proceeding to the main arena for the celebrations.
The annual reed dance ceremony has this year attracted an overwhelming number of girls from across the kingdom as well as countries of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lesotho.

At the height of the celebrations, President Mwanawasa and Zuma joined King Mswati in inspecting the colourful parade of the maidens wilding clubs, knives and pangas while giving out melodious traditional songs.
Today, Tuesday, which has been declared a publc holiday in Swaziland will be the climax of the Umhlanga and President Mwanawasa will also attend as chief guest.

King Mswati is expected to pick a wife from among the participating girls in line with the Swazi tradition.
This will be his 13th wife since ascending to the throne in 1986 at the age of 18.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home