Lungu urges Africa to unite
Mbabane – Visiting Zambian President Edgar Lungu has encouraged SADC member states to unite with the rest of the continent in order to make the African Union effective.
He was speaking during a royal banquet which Swaziland King Mswati III hosted him at Lozitha Palace on Tuesday evening.
President Lungu said unity of the African countries would make the African Union more effective.
“I wish to touch on the importance of unity amongst us as a region and as a continent. It is extremely important that we, as African countries, seek to harmonise our positions under the African Union so that Africa can speak with one voice on the global stage if we are to achieve our ideals at the United Nations (UN) in particular. This spirit of unity will also stand us in a good stead as we strive to achieve our common developmental goals as a continent,” said Lungu
He quoted former Ghana President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who once said: “Unite we must stand. We must unite to achieve the full liberation of our continent.”
President Lungu further said Africa should cease going to the UN as if they are escorting friends and have no say, but they should ensure that when they get to New York they speak with one voice to make sure that Africa is represented well.
He highlighted that discussions with King Mswati III were fruitful as the two leaders identified key areas of cooperation that would be mutually benefit the two countries.
“There is a remarkable potential for collaboration between us and it is fervent hope that this potential will be realised sooner rather than later,” he said.
He further highlighted that Swaziland and Zambia’s mutual relations dated back to the reigns of President Dr Kenneth Kaunda and King Sobhuza II as they maintained good relations during their tenure.
He said the strong bonds were forged during the collective struggle for the liberation and independence of the African region.
The visiting president underscored that Swazis and the Zambian nation shared a rich cultural heritage, and a rich history which is steeped in the common beliefs and tradition that they hold dear.
He stated that in the East and West Provinces of Zambia people shared the same names, language, dances and traditional ceremonies.
“This truly indicates that we are one people. The bond that the two countries have is a true bond of friendship,” he said.
In response, King Mswati said the region needed to start producing sufficient energy for the people, in order to fast track economic development.
He said he was convinced that if the region could start producing enough energy for its people, economic development could reach its highs.
“We are convinced that if our region could succeed in producing sufficient energy for our people, we could be propelled to a higher level in terms of economic development,” he said.
The king said the region needed to make faster progress in increasing access to electricity and water sanitation.
“The SADC region and Africa in general need to make faster progress in increasing access to electricity and water sanitation, transforming the agricultural sector to feed its people and becoming competitive globally, as well as industrialising and improving the quality of the life of our people,” he said.
He said the country had a vision to transform to first world status by 2022 and thus the country needed to be able to produce its own energy by then.
“The main vision of our vision 2022 is to improve the standard of living for all our people through the access to quality services, wealth creation and employment opportunities,” he said.