By JOHN SAKALA
Zambia’s Ambassador accredited to the Nordic and Baltic states, Rose Salukatula has said that the Zambian Government wants to provide opportunities for everyone, hence the formulation of progressive strategies such as the Diaspora Policy, which is meant to provide an effective framework for engaging the Zambian Diaspora.
Ms Salukatula has pointed out that last year’s launch of the Diaspora Policy by the Vice-President Inonge Mutukwa Wina, was driven by Government’s recognition of the value of its nationals in the Diaspora as well as the Government’s desire to have a blueprint that will facilitate the participation of Zambians living abroad in the country’s socio-economic development agenda.
The Ambassador was speaking during an online event held to commemorate Zambia’s 56th Independence Anniversary on Saturday, 24th October, which fell on the same day.
The event which was held through the Zoom online platform was attended by a cross section of Zambians resident in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. This is the second time that Zambians living in the four countries have come together to collectively observe a national event after organising a similar one last week to observe the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.
Ms Salukatula noted that this was an important Policy which addressed various issues affecting Zambians in the Diaspora such as those of delayed processing of national identification documents, the issue of Dual Citizenship, remittances to Zambia and skills transfer, among other issues.
“The Embassy will, not long from now, organise a virtual meeting with the Diaspora in the Nordic and Baltic regions with senior officials from relevant Zambian institutions to discuss details of the objectives and the implementation process of the Diaspora Policy,” she said.
She also urged Zambians in the region to be exemplary in their conduct and not engage in activities that would tarnish the image of the nation but work towards maintaining Zambia’s brand as a beacon of peace and unity.
The Ambassador called on the nationals to realise that peace was an important asset if Zambia was to continue attracting tourists as well as foreign investment in various sectors of the economy which the country needed in order to achieve sustainable development.
“Let us emulate our founding fathers and mothers in being patriotic and to speak well of our country as any negative sentiments from any of us will not help anyone but just hurt the economy of the country,” she said.
“As citizens, living abroad, it is our responsibility and duty to love this country, to get involved and develop this country, and to speak well of this country. We are the best ambassadors this country can ever have,” she added.
The event was spiced with song and dance from individual and group performances, including four year-old Zambian twin sisters, living in Helsinki, Finland, Amiina-Faith and Adora-Love who sung all the three stanzas of the Zambia National Anthem. The twins were earlier this week featured on Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu’s Facebook ‘National Anthem Challenge’.
Ambassador Salukatula described the event as unique considering that it had brought together Zambians as well as friends of Zambia from different parts of the Nordic region to observe an important day.
The organisation of the event was spearheaded by the Finnish-Zambian Association (FIN-ZAM) in collaboration with the Zambian Embassy, Tiyende Pamodzi Association of Denmark and representatives from Norway and Sweden.
Chairpersons for FIN-ZAM and Tiyende Pamodzi Benjamin Musuku and Noah Chipeta, respectively, and representatives from Sweden Yvette Hanyama and Hetron Munang’andu, all called for a more united Zambian community in the Nordic and Baltic regions.
This is according to a media statement issued by Zambian Counsellor at the Zambian Embassy in Sweden Nicky Shabolyo.