Republic of Zambia

SPEECH BY
HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA

ON THE OCCASION TO MARK

THE CONFERMENT OF HONORARY DEGREES BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA

TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ZIMBABWEAN COUNTERPART
COMRADE DR. EMMERSON MNANGAGWA

AT MULUNGUSHI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE

SATURDAY, 29TH JUNE, 2019

STATE HOUSE
LUSAKA

• YOUR EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, COMRADE DR. EMMERSON MNANGAGWA;
• HON. MINISTERS PRESENT FROM BOTH ZAMBIAN AND ZIMBABWE;
• THE SECRETARY TO THE CABINET;
• PERMANENT SECRETARIES AND OTHER SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS PRESENT;
• MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS ACCREDITED TO ZAMBIA;
• THE CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA;
• THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA COUNCIL;
• THE BOARD CHAIRPERSON FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA ALUMNI RELATIONS AND ADVANCEMENT OPERATION;
• THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA VICE-CHANCELLOR AND MANAGEMENT TEAM;
• DISTINGUSHED GUESTS;
• MY FRIENDS FROM THE MEDIA;
• DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

I AM DELIGHTED TO JOIN YOU AT THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION.

LET ME START BY WELCOMING YOUR EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, COMRADE DR. MNANGAGWA. PLEASE ACCEPT OUR SINCERE WARM GREETINGS. THIS IS TRULY YOUR HOME. THERE IS NO BETTER QUALIFICATION FOR YOUR BEING A ZAMBIAN THAN TO HAVE SHARED SOME OF YOUR YOUTHFUL YEARS IN THIS COUNTRY AND INDEED TO HAVE STUDIED HERE.

YOUR BACKGROUND OF A CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH ZAMBIA IS SHARED BY MANY ZIMBABWEANS. ZAMBIA IS HOME TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE MUCH AS ZIMBABWE IS OUR SECOND HOME. AS SISTER COUNTRIES, WE SHARE A LOT.

THE GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBIA SHARES WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE THE RECOGNITION THAT WE CONSISTENTLY NEED AN ORGANISED AND WELL MANAGED CROSS BORDER MOVEMENT SYSTEM.

I AM GLAD TO SAY THAT THE MOBILITY OF TRADE AND PERSONS BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES HAS CONTINUED TO BE SMOOTH. WE LOOK FORWARD TO THIS CONTINUED GROWTH OF OUR WARM LONGSTANDING BILATERAL TIES.

WE SHARE IN EACH OTHERS CHALLENGES AND PROSPERITY TOO.

OUR HISTORICAL BOND REFLECTS IN THE NATURAL WONDER, THE VICTORIA FALLS. THE VICTORIA FALLS IS A CLEAR EXAMPLE OF THE KIND OF RELATIONSHIP THAT WE SHARE AS SIAMESE TWINS. THIS IS INDEED A REFLECTION OF TRUE BROTHERHOOD AND SISTERHOOD BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES.

ANOTHER NATURAL FEATURE WHICH BONDS OUR TWO COUNTRIES IS THE ZAMBEZI RIVER, THE LONGEST FAST FLOWING RIVER IN AFRICA, AND THE LARGEST RIVER FLOWING INTO THE INDIAN OCEAN FROM AFRICA.

AS THIS RIVER MAKES ITS WAY TO THE INDIAN OCEAN, IT CONNECTS A STRTECH OF THE BORDERS BETWEEN ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE PROVIDING A LIFELINE FOR OUR SURVIVAL.

TODAY WE CAN BE PROUD OF THE MANY JOINT INITIATIVES BETWEEN ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE, ONE OF WHICH IS THE GENERATION OF HYDRO ELECTRICITY FROM THE SHARED WATER BODIES.

YOUR EXCELLENCY;
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

I STAND BEFORE YOU TODAY, TO EXPRESS OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE FOR THE HONOUR WE HAVE BEEN ACCORDED BY OUR OWN UNIVERSITY, THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA.

I PERSONALLY, TAKE THIS HONOUR AS A CHALLENGE FOR US TO CONTINUE PROVIDING THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP WHICH WILL ENABLE OUR TWO GREAT COUNTRIES MOVE TOWARDS PROSPERITY AND PROVIDE A BETTER LIFE FOR OUR PEOPLE.

IN THIS VEIN, WE MUST ENSURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO EXTEND THIS HONOUR TO OUR PEOPLE. WE CAN ALWAYS HONOUR THEM BY ENSURING THAT ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION AT PRIMARY, SECONDARY AND HIGHER EDUCATION LEVELS IS ASSURED FOR THEM.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE ARE KEY TO ENSURING IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY, INNOVATION AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT MY GOVERNMENT HAS PRIORITISED THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE EDUCATION SECTOR.
WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS ENHANCING ACCESS TO QUALITY AND INCLUSIVE EDUCATION. WE ARE ALSO WORKING TOWARDS ENHANCING SKILLS TRAINING AS WELL AS ENHANCING THE ROLE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION.

ACHIEVING THIS REQUIRES SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT IN THE SECTOR. THEREFORE, WE WILL NOT RELENT ON CALLING UPON THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO PARTNER WITH US AND ENSURE ROBUST INVESTMENTS IN THE SECTOR.

WE MUST FULFIL THE NEED FOR A STRONG SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY SKILLS BASE FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE.

WE MUST ALSO INCREASE INVESTMENTS IN TRAINING EQUIPMENT IN ORDER TO REFLECT THE CURRENT TECHNOLOGY BEING USED GLOBALLY, IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES, AND GOOD INTERNET CONNECTIVITY COUNTRYWIDE, AS WELL AS IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT.

WHILE ENTREPRENUERSHIP TRAINING IS KEY TO OUR PEOPLE AND MUST BE MAINSTREAMED ACROSS ALL OUR PROGRAMMES, EMPHASIS MUST BE PLACED ON PREPARING OUR YOUTHS FOR THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, IN THE EDUCATION WE PROVIDE FOR THEM. WE DO NOT WANT TO REMAIN BEHIND.

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

IN OUR QUEST TO IMPROVE OUR EDUCATION SECTOR, WE NEED TO TAKE THE ISSUE OF QUALITY VERY SERIOUSLY.

YES, WE NEED MORE OF OUR PEOPLE TO ACCESS TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING ON ONE HAND AND UNIVERSITY EDUCATION ON THE OTHER. HOWEVER, THIS SHOULD NOT COMPROMISE QUALITY.

IN THE FACE OF MUSHROOMING HIGHER LEARNING INSTITUTIONS, WE MUST ENCOURAGE BEST PRACTICES AND INSIST ON MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR EVERY TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTION, AND FOR EVERY INSTITUTION BEARING THE NAME UNIVERSITY.

WE MUST NOT WAIT UNTIL PEOPLE HAVE STARTED LEARNING AND PAID MONIES TO ACQUIRE EDUCATION THEN THAT IS WHEN WE SWING INTO ACTION TO CLOSE THE INSTITUTIONS.

THIS CALLS FOR THE MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND OTHER RELEVANT INSTITUTIONS TO BE PROACTIVE RATHER THAN REACTIVE. THIS MUST EQUALLY APPLY TO THE GENERAL EDUCATION SUB-SECTOR.

FOR US TO ACHIEVE HIGH STANDARDS OF EDUCATION, WE MUST REMOVE MEDIOCRITY.

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

I AM AWARE OF THE MANY CONCERNS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES UNZA AND OTHER PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES ARE FACING. I AM ALSO AWARE THAT MUCH WORK HAS BEEN DONE BY JOINT TEAMS FROM GOVERNMENT WORKING WITH THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES TO CHART THE WAY FORWARD TO TRANSFORM THESE INSTITUTIONS.

I WOULD, THEREFORE, LIKE TO COMMEND THE MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR COURAGEOUSLY CHAMPIONING THE AGENDA FOR TRANSFORMATION OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR.

AS GOVERNMENT, WE ARE CLEAR ABOUT THE WAY TO GO. SUSTAINABLE FINANCING OF THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES MUST COME WITH RADICAL MEASURES TO TURN AROUND THE INSTITUTIONS.

IT IS NOT TENABLE FOR THE NATIONAL TREASURY TO CONTINUE POURING RESOURCES INTO INSTITUTIONS WHOSE BUSINESS MODEL AND BUSINESS PRACTICES ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE.

TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA AND THE COPPERBELT UNIVERSITY, THERE IS FOR THE TWO INSTITUTIONS TO CONSIDER LOOKING AT THE FINANCING STRATEGY YOU HAVE AGREED UPON WITH GOVERNMENT WITH REGARDS TO RETIREMENT BENEFITS.
THIS SHOULD BE LOOKED AT SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE CONDITIONS OF SERVICE BY THE UNIVERSITIES.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

IN 2017 GOVERNMENT THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTED TO FIND RESOURCES FOR THE ECL MULTIPURPOSE TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTRE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA WHOSE VALUATION WAS ESTIMATED AT ABOUT K90 MILLION.

THE GOVERNMENT REMAINS COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT THE MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION INCLUDES THIS IMPORTANT ACTIVITY IN THE 2020 NATIONAL BUDGET. IN THIS REGARD, I AM DIRECTING THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE TO TAKE NOTE OF THIS IMPORTANT ACTIVITY IN THE 2020 NATIONAL BUDGET.

THERE CAN BE NO BETTER GIFT WE CAN GIVE TO THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE, OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN WHO WILL ONE DAY STUDY AND DO RESEARCH AT OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, THAN THE GIFT OF ENSURING THAT WE EXPAND INFRASTRUCTURE FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING, AND THAT WE CONSISTENTLY EQUIP OUR HIGHER LEARNING INSTITUTIONS.

THERE IS NO BETTER OPPORTUNITY IN LIFE WE CAN GIVE TO OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRAND CHILDREN THAN THE OPPORUNITY TO GO TO SCHOOL AND MOVE ON TO BECOME CORPORATE AND NATIONAL LEADERS.

THIS IS THE COMMITMENT THAT MY GOVERNMENT IS MAKING TO THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE. THEREFORE, I CHALLENGE THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE AND THE CORPORATE SECTOR TO MAKE THE SAME COMMITMENT AND PARTNER WITH GOVERNMENT AND MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARDS INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AT OUR PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

LET ME NOW CONCLUDE BY WISHING YOU A PLEASANT OCCASION.

I THANK YOU. MAY GOD BLESS US ALL.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I bet that is bootlicker number 1, things that preoccupy african leaders, people are busy lining up for bread in Zimbabwe and the President is receiving an award, what value is it adding to your rotten economy. Shame

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