….the ZTA Chief hails cultural diversity
Zambia Tourism Agency, ZTA, Chief Executive Officer, Felix Chaila has told the Berlin-based Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, ICD, that Zambia’s unity is largely due to her citizen’s ability to embrace diversity.
Mr. Chaila said Zambians have embraced the more than 50 different cultural ceremonies identified with the 72 different tribes and dialects the country is composed of.
“If you want, you can attend one ceremony every month”, Mr. Chaila told post-graduate students adding, “This helps to deepen our appreciation of one another.”
The ZTA Chief is in the German capital, Berlin, to attend the global tourism show known by its acronym, ITB, a show that attracts tour operators from over 180 countries.
Zambia is one of the countries exhibiting her tourism products and services with over 10 private operators. ICD invited Zambia to share her cultural heritage with postgraduate students drawn from different parts of the world.
Addressing the students at the ICD campus, Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany Anthony Mukwita said in addition to the country’s ability to embrace culture, the love for soccer has also helped glue the nation together.
Playing a short clip from the penalty shoot-out of the 2012 finals of the Africa Cup Championship in which Zambia beat Ivory Coast, Ambassador Mukwita said the celebration that followed confirmed football as a unifying force among Zambians despite their political, ethnic or religious affiliations.
“I don’t want to go into the details of how we celebrated that victory after trying for years to win that tournament”, the Zambian envoy said drawing laughter across the audience.
ICD offers a Masters Degree in Cultural Diplomacy, a part of international relations that seeks to deepen understanding among the different peoples of the world. By exploring the ways of life of different people and making them the subject of study, the program hopes to contribute to a world devoid of conflict and war.
This is the third time ICD has invited Zambia to interact with its students. Ambassador Mukwita says the interaction continues to provide Zambia with an opportunity to share the story of her people to the future leaders of the different countries of the world.
“As a respected member of the international community with a rich cultural heritage, Zambia has and continues to grace international platforms to share her moral voice” Ambassador Mukwita said.
The Zambian envoy was referring to President Edgar Lungu’s foreign policy that has seen Zambia continue participating in different international forums and hosting regional bodies such as the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, COMESA and the AU’s Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC.