Traditional ceremonies help diversify economy
Mwanawasa said in Solwezi , Zambia this week, during the 2006 Kufukwila traditional ceremony of the Kaonde people at Chief Mukumbi Ibaloli’s palace that ceremonies, if well organised could earn the country foreign exchange. In a speech read for him by Agriculture and Coopreatives Minister, Mundia Sikatana on Saturday, Mwanawasa said culture had potential to contribute to the development and promotion of cultural industries for employment and wealth creation. “It is Government’s belief that apart from safeguarding the tangible and intangible culture heritage, this sector has tremendous potential for diversifying from copper to a cultural tourism product with the capacity to provide employment and wealth for the nation,” he said. In recognising the potential, Mwanawasa said his Government through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services had embarked on the construction of cultural villages and other venues where cultural activities such as the training of youths in production and marketing of cultural products would take place. He said Government would remain committed to the preservation, development and promotion of cultural heritage and would continue to recognise the dignity of traditional rulers as custodians of cultural heritage. Giving thanks to the Almighty God for abundant rains, the President said Zambia was headed for a bumper harvest after Government provided inputs at 50 per cent subsidy to subsistence farmers under the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP). On education and health, the President said his administration would spend increased resources by recruiting more teachers and health personnel to reduce acute staffing and enhance better and quality service in the social sector. Government would continue to build and improve roads, water supply, sanitation services, public housing as well as working on empowering thousands of the youths with skills and resources for self sustenance. Those whose attended the ceremony included Senior Chief Kalilele, Chief Chibwika, Senior Chief Kanongesha, Chieftainess Nyakulenga, Chief Kikola, Chief Ingwe, Provincial Minister James Katoka, Permanent Secretary Richard Salivaji, Community Development Permanent Secretary Teddy Kasonso and UNIP.