Friday, July 09, 2010

You don’t need a degree to lead a nation, RB

You don’t need a degree to lead a nation, RB
By Mutale Kapekele
Fri 09 July 2010, 13:10 CAT

President Rupiah has said even without education, a person who is focused can succeed and lead a country. Earlier this year the MMD delegates at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) were pushing for a clause in the new constitution that limited presidential candidates to those with university degrees.

Speaking at the Zambia Brazil Business Forum that was held in Lusaka on Thursday, President Banda praised Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for ascending to presidency despite his humble education.

“The problem with some of us, especially those of us who were colonized and educated by the British, is that we think education is everything,” President Banda said.

“This man (President Lula) never went to university and yet he learnt a lot of things through life. What this is teaching us is that you can grow big if you are focused. This (Lula) is the only president without a university degree and yet he has built more universities than any other president.”

He said Zambians should consider learning Portuguese and take advantage of the university that President Lula was building for African students.

“This man here is even building a university that will have 40 per cent of students coming from Africa,” he said. “ Zambians should take advantage of the language school here to learn Portuguese and go to that university that will be built just four hours from the continent.”

President Banda also hailed Lula for showing the spirit of selflessness in trying to help developing countries in Africa and the Caribbean.

“Since you (Lula) became President, a lot of changes have taken place in Brazil. We are glad that you have not just been a successful country but also you have not been selfish and shown concern about countries of the south in particular in Africa and Latin America,” President Banda said.

“We need to get together and see that our economies grow and that people live better as they have already started. You have spread the benefits of your country’s growth. We shall emulate you and Zambia will make sure that ties with your country grow.”

President Banda also said the 10 agreements that the two countries have signed will make it easier to partner in business.
He also advised Zambian businessmen to be serious and grow their businesses.

“The problem that Zambia has is growing business. Businessmen be serious and take up opportunities that this country has to offer,” he said.

President Banda also said Zambians were sick and tired of waiting for new wealth and warned that the government will take away mining licenses from those who failed to use them seven years after acquiring them.

“I would like to warn those with licenses to use their licenses within seven years. We are not going to allow Zambians with licenses to sit back and play politics,” he said. “We will take away those licenses.

This also applies to foreign companies. Zambians are sick and tired of waiting. They want to see new mines, new wealth. Whoever gets a license should use it!”

And President Lula advised Africa that it had the potential to feed the whole world if it improved on its agricultural programs.
He said Brazil will continue partnering with Africa to ensure that it achieved its full potential and to help her find a better place in the world economy.

President Lula announced that the mining giant Vale will begin its operation in Zambia at the end of August.
He said another Brazilian mining company would also invest in Zambia before the end of the year.

President Lula said the two firms will inject an initial capital of US $600 million in production of copper in Zambia.
President Lula said Vale will commit US $400 million in September 2010.

He said 50 million tonnes of copper is expected to be produced while over 15,000 jobs are expected to be generated.
He urged Vale to double production and keep the firm’s promise.
President Lula said he had strong conviction regarding Africa continent in terms of economic growth.

He said Zambia was an important development partner because of its strategic geographic position.

President Lula said he was impressed with Zambia's growth rates from 2005 through to 2009.

“This is impressive, it is good to know that you are a major exporter of copper, so Vale should bring equipment here to the level that Zambia can become rich,” he said.

He said Brazil is strongly motivated to help African countries in Agriculture to produce more food and alleviate poverty.

He observed that there are millions of people with negative perception about Africa.

“But I have become committed to problems facing Africa, south and North America,” he said.

He said negative perceptions about Africa should be changed through schools and universities.

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