….Mukwita tells German’s DW
Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany His Excellency Anthony Mukwita has told German public broadcaster, DW, that the country’s development trajectory promises a brighter future for many Zambians. Ambassador Mukwita said various measures undertaken in different aspects of Zambia’s development activities point to improvements other than stagnation.
He said the construction of schools, hospitals, roads and airports among other developments illustrate a practical desire for improvements in the previously neglected nfrastructure sector.
Ambassador Mukwita was speaking during a recording of a radio interview which is expected to be aired soon to DW’s global audience of close to 200 million of which 68 million are in Africans tuning in on a weekly basis.
“This is not to say we have no challenges”, Ambassador Mukwita said, adding, “we are still ensuring that the benefits of government interventions reach a wider part of the country’s population beyond current levels . ..that is the desire of the President and his government.”
Ambassador Mukwita said measures are underway to diversify the Zambian economy by deliberate efforts in improving the agricultural sector which should facilitate reduction of dependency on mining – the current mainstay of the economy.
He said the agricultural sector employs a significant portion of Zambia’s population whose improvement would lead to improved quality of life for many.
During the same interview, Ambassador Mukwita dismissed suggestions that China’s relations with Zambia amounted to economic recolonization.
He said China and Zambia enjoy a special relationship which stretches back to the time of the liberation struggle in southern Africa when the country built an alternative route to the sea when traditional allies from the west declined to do so.
He pointed out that the current projects that China was involved in such as the new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport were critical to the Zambian economy. The Zambian envoy said since independence, the airport has not been improved in any way leading to Zambia’s failure to tap into the growing regional and global aviation and tourism market.
Other issues covered in the interview included what measures had been taken by President Edgar Lungu in the fight against corruption. In his response, Ambassador Mukwita said the Zambian leader had and continues to take disciplinary measures against erring officials including dismissals while others have been investigated, arrested and hauled before courts of law.
He touted these developments as confirmation of President Lungu’s commitment to the fight against corruption.
The interview with DW followed an invitation to the Zambian envoy to visit its Bonn headquarters and answer some questions that have arisen at international level. Reflecting on the visit, ambassador Mukwita said “DW is an important diplomatic partner for us. They’ve a 163 million audience of which a 3rd is in Africa so we only gain on a communication platform when we partner with them to communicate Zambia’s good news story”.
CAPTION Head of Africa section DW Claus Stacker and interviewer Eddy Micah Jr. onset with Ambassador Anthony Mukwita.