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By JOHN SAKALA
Gender Minister Elizabeth Phiri says Zambian Women in the diaspora are a powerful source of economic progress that can spur development in Zambia if they all join forces.
The Minister said this in a recorded video at a Social Economic event organised by the Zambia High Commission in conjunction with Zambian women based in the United Kingdom to celebrate International women’s Day under the theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”
The theme focused on innovative ways in which gender equality can be advanced and empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
The event attracted over 300 Zambian women and friends of Zambia who passed through Zambia House to listen to motivation speeches from Zambian women achievers. The event which was open to the public throughout the day had a variety of Exhibitions such as, cultural fashion show, products by young Entrepreneurs, charitable organisations and Authors.
The Minister of Gender challenged Zambian Women in the diaspora to come together and promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses and spur entrepreneurship, and transfer new knowledge and skills to their country.
The Minister said Zambian women given a platform, can be an unstoppable force and can help develop Zambia.
“Government realises that an engaged diaspora can be an asset. I challenge all Zambian women in the diaspora to connect Zambia with their various host Countries with global networks of research and technology that are essential to development. Rise up to the challenge women, you are a potential source of opportunities for trade, innovation, investment and networks,” she said
The Minister said that Zambian Women in the diaspora have a key role to play in Zambia’s social and economic development, through investment and entrepreneurship.
She also said that Zambian women in the diaspora were a source of academic and technical expertise and an important market for Zambia’s goods and services as well as tourism.
And Zambia Women organising committee chairperson Catherine Chuungwe thanked the Zambia High Commission for partnering with the women.
“Thank you for always opening yours doors to us. This was an amazing event as a lot of people networked while other discovered business opportunities. The Minister of Gender has challenged us and we will rise to the challenge. We want this to be an annual event because it has opened opportunities for many Zambia women based in the UK and has brought us together,” she said.
Meanwhile Deputy High Commissioner Patricia Chanda who represented the Zambia High Commission Women, called on young Zambians based in the UK to take time to visit Zambia to learn about their culture and also share their knowledge and experiences with young Zambians back home.
She said young Zambians should be involved in the country’s economic agenda and urged them to be brokers of change, with the potential to be the new job creators.
This is according to a media statement made available to The Independent Observer by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambia High Commission in the United Kingdom Abigail Chaponda.