Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary for International Relations and Cooperation (IR&C), Chalwe Lombe has urged Missions abroad to be innovative for them to continue executing their mandate effectively in the midst of austerity measures.
Ambassador Lombe said it is important for Missions abroad to embrace the period of austerity through prudent management of financial resources to support macroeconomic stability and to enable Government deliver services to the people.
“This austerity period is not unique to Zambia but a global phenomenon. We need to see how we can stretch the resources that are made available to us or for that matter to be innovative enough to continue to function effectively where those resources are not forthcoming,” Amb. Lombe said.
He said this when he addressed diplomatic staff at the Zambian Chancery in Ankara yesterday.
Amb Lombe said Missions abroad have an obligation to provide solutions to mitigate the impact of austerity measures by attracting the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Development Cooperation to support Government programmes.
“This is a temporary period, it is a period that Government has determined itself that it will drive the agenda to ensure that we come out of this period. Each country I suppose has to draw up its own policy depending on the circumstances, depending on what the economy is driven by. You know that we are primarily a commodity based economy for instance,” Amb. Lombe said.
He also urged diplomats to acquaint themselves with Zambia’s national development blueprint, the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), and use it as a guide in their daily duties.
“The Seventh National Development Plan must form the bedrock of your work plan because that is a document which the President and the leadership have decided will guide the national development agenda,” Amb. Lombe said.
He also urged diplomats to remain loyalty to President Edgar Lungu and Government.
Amb. Lombe further commended Zambia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, Dr Joseph Chilengi and diplomatic staff for their hard work in strengthening the existing warm bilateral relations between the two countries.
“You have made it possible with the work you have been able to do to show that indeed the existence of our Mission in Ankara is value for money and that there lies ahead of us a huge potential for Zambia Turkey relations,” Amb. Lombe said
And Dr Chilengi said there was excitement from both countries that the 2nd Zambia-Turkey Political Consultations are finally taking place after a period of five years.
The Zambia-Turkey Political Consultations were last held on July 18, 2013 in Lusaka.
Amb Lombe and his delegation is Ankara for the Zambia-Turkey Political Consultations.