…..this option could benefit more says Austrian senior official

Vienna, January 8, 2019

Austria’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Johannes Peterlik said providing a European education in Africa leading to a European qualification should benefit more than a few scholarship slots for a few students taken in Europe.

Ambassador Peterlik, who has extensive diplomatic experience, was speaking in his office in Vienna when Zambia’s ambassador to Germany and Austria His Excellency Anthony Mukwita paid a courtesy call on him.

“We see that a number of students would like to have European qualifications”, Ambassador Peterlik said adding, “we stand a better chance of offering these qualifications to more if this education were offered on the African continent”.

Ambassador Peterlik told the Zambian envoy that through partnerships with local universities in Zambia, Austrian universities could provide European qualifications to Zambian students.

The Austrian senior official was responding to Ambassador Mukwita who shared the human capital development goals of the Zambian government under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu.

“President Lungu has prioritized the education of the youth by looking at every possible solution including scholarships”, ambassador Mukwita said.

Mr. Mukwita said the Zambian economy was undergoing significant developments in areas that included energy, agriculture and tourism among others, which would require a well-developed human capital base.

The Lungu government has continued to expand educational institutions in every part of Zambia with a view to provide every deserving Zambian youth an opportunity at attaining higher qualifications.

Competing against other priorities, the education sector has not received as much as government would have loved. “Sometimes, these challenges and government’s good intentions are misunderstood by some people who would like to think that President Lungu is not committed to higher education”, ambassador Mukwita later observed.

“Cognizant of these challenges, as an embassy, we will continue to explore a variety of options available so that we fulfill President Lungu’s aspirations in the education sector”, said Ambassador Mukwita.

The Zambian senior diplomat continues to pursue an education agenda in other countries he is accredited to. For instance, Hungary has offered Zambian students 10 scholarship slots every year in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs while the Czech Republic has increased slots from 4 to 15.

Ambassador Mukwita is ambassador to seven countries that include Germany where he is based and, on a non-residential basis, he is accredited to Poland, Hungary, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic.