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By JOHN SAKALA
The cultural sector plays an important role in Zambia’s development process, Minister of General Education David Mabumba has said.
And Zambia has hailed the strong ties it has with UNESCO which clocks fifty-four (54) years on 9thNovember, 2018.
Speaking at the on-going 205th Session of the Executive Board at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, where he addressed the plenary, Mr Mabumba said measures had been put in place to ensure that the cultural sector’s rightful role in the development of Zambia’s society was acknowledged.
“It is in this regard that my Government has continued implementing Cultural Conventions. One such example is the 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which, with support from UNESCO will be offering a degree program at the University of Zambia to strengthen the capacity for the safeguarding and management of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” he said.
He cited a study recently commissioned on the Slave Trade and Slave Routes in Zambia which has since culminated into a publication that should be on the UNESCO website soon.
He stressed that the study had attracted interest in a number of African countries and was important as it provided an opportunity to shed light on new and contemporary forms of slavery.
And Mr Mabumba has pledged Zambia’s continued commitment to the tenets upon which UNESCO was established and the mandate it needed to fulfill.
“Zambia is implementing capacity development programs on Global Citizenship Education and Sustainable Development targeting Teacher Educators and In-service training coordinators. And we are receiving extra budgetary resources through the program on capacity development for education focusing on Pedagogy and Competencies with a view to enhance quality education delivery,” he said.
He noted the need to enhance acquisition of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes so as to promote sustainable development and contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.7.
The United Nations SDG target 4.7 aims to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
On the communication and information sector, Mr Mabumba said the Government was actively raising awareness and building a national campaign to support and promote freedom of expression and access to information, as undisputable human rights.
He said Government was at the same time promoting media diversity, pluralism and ethical reporting through the Information for all Program.
The education minister also reaffirmed the Government’s support toward the reforms that have been initiated by the current administration at UNESCO.
He is accompanied at the on-going UNESCO Executive Board meetings by Zambia’s permanent Delegate to UNESCO Ambassador Dr Christine Kaseba-SATA, who is also Ambassador to France and Zambia’s UNESCO Commission Secretary General Dr Charles Ndakala.
In November last year, Zambia was elected to serve on the UNESCO Executive Board for a period of four years commencing 2017 to 2021 at the 39thsession of the General Conference in Paris, France at UNESCO Headquarters.
The Executive Board of UNESCO, comprising 58 Member States out of 195 Member States is one of the Constitutional Organs of UNESCO, the others being the General Conference and the Secretariat.
Minister of General Education Mr. David Mabumba, is Zambia’s representative to the Executive Board.
Later in the evening the Minister was hosted for dinner at the Zambian residence by the Ambassador designate where he also met the diplomatic staff and their families and some Zambians resident in Paris.
And Mr. Mabumba implored diplomats at the Paris Mission to focus on economic diplomacy in line with the Government policy to bring development to the country.
He said all diplomats sent to serve in Missions were representatives of Government and should work hard in ensuring that they projected a good image of the country, including sharing information on prospects and working towards attracting the much-needed foreign investment.
He expressed concern about abuse of the social media platforms in the country by some people who wanted to tarnish the image of the country.
The Minister further urged the diplomats not to rely on unverified reports being posted on social media as a genuine source of news on the happenings in the country as most of did not project the actual situation on the ground. He said Missions should instead contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs whenever they needed accurate information regarding the nation.
This is according to a media statement made available to The Independent Observer by First Secretary for Press at the Zambian Embassy in France Yande Musonda.