Zambia hosts smart partnership dialogue

Key on the agenda was the search for solutions to poverty, hunger development in Africa and other developing countries.

Among the key delegates were former presidents Sir Ketumire Masire, Sam Nujoma of Botswana and Namibia respectively, African National Congress Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. Others include Joachim Chissano of Mozambique and Pokalitha Mosisili of Lesotho.

Delegates deliberated on national visions and traditions as the basis for transforming communities under the theme “Economic Development and Diversity”.

The partnership which is about changing attitudes and new ways of looking at things is premised on 10 co-factors. These include a shared vision, cultural diversity, longevity, transparency, fair play, trust, networks, code of ethics, equity and values.

Since inception in 1995, the smart partnership movement has held 17 conferences and Zambia was the 10th country to host the dialogue.

Lesotho Prime Minister Pokalitha Mosisili explained to the Zambia News and Information services (ZANIS), the only local media organisation allowed to cover the event, that the dialogue was aimed at building strong partnerships for various countries as a way of forming new bonds.

“Collective wisdom manifests in the noble spirit of working together and it is this spirit that gave birth to Southern Africa Development community (SADC) and Southern Africa International Dialogue,” he said. “This recognises country development as an overall integral development of the country and demonstrates the practical role played in long term framework of economic development. The development process calls for extensive interaction with the people, as such we should put the communities at the heart of development.

Zambia’s vice president Rupiah Banda said the dialogue would help Zambia to provide solutions to overcome some of its challenges.

Speaking at a dinner hosted for participants attending the dialogue, Banda emphasised the need for dialogue as it enables all sides to present their views of common interest.

He said solutions to the current rise in food and oil prices could also be found in dialogue amongst stakeholders.

Banda said the Smart Partnership Movement was worth supporting as it is a creative and practical method of solving problems.

The global Southern African International Dialogue 2008 joint dialogue convenor Mihaela Smith observed that one of the major challenges for the smart partnership now was to have each and every Southern African country be a smart partnership hub.

Smith, who is also the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management chief executive, pointed out that there is need to find a way for of establishing smart partnership hubs in the entire Southern African region.

She noted with concern, that there were just about three hubs in the region namely Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Swaziland with smaller ones in Namibia, Mozambique and Uganda.

The dialogue started on Monday, July 28, and ended on July 31, 2008.

August 2008
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