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Dora Siliya heads Austin Sichinga & Albert Muchanga African Union (AU) job hunt

Dora Siliya heads Austin Sichinga & Albert Muchanga African Union (AU) job hunt

December 04
14:41 2016

Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya heads campaign trial for AU jobs for Austin Sichinga and Albert Muchanga

Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya heads campaign trial for AU jobs for Austin Sichinga and Albert Muchanga

By Judith Banda
Patriotic Front (PF) Petauke Member of Parliament (MP) Dora Siliya has been tasked with campaigning for Austin Sichinga and Albert Muchanga as African Union (AU) commissioners.
Austin Sichinga

Austin Sichinga

Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya will on behalf of the President conduct campaigns in three countries for Austin Sichinga and Albert Muchanga as commissioners of trade at the African Union (AU).
The Minister has gone in advance to give support to her compatriots in the elections that are scheduled to be held in January.
President-Edgar-Lungu-with-Zambia's Foreign-Affairs-Minister-Harry-Kalaba-in-Zimbabwe-on-February-6-2015-picture-by-Salim-Henry

President-Edgar-Lungu-with-Zambia’s Foreign-Affairs-Minister-Harry-Kalaba-in-Zimbabwe-on-February-6-2015-picture-by-Salim-Henry

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT TO PARLIAMENT TO BE DELIVERED BY HON.
HARRY KALABA, MP, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ON THE –
(1) 7th HIGH LEVEL MEETING OF THE REGIONAL OVERSIGHT
MECHANISM OF PEACE, SECURITY AND COOPERATION
FRAMEWORK FOR THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
AND THE REGION;
(2) 19th SUMMIT OF THE COMESA AUTHORITY OF HEADS OF
STATE AND GOVERNMENT AND PRECEDING 15th MEETING
OF THE COMESA MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS; AND
(3) THE CAMPAIGN FOR ZAMBIAN CANDIDATURES FOR
AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION POSITIONS.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Lusaka
November, 2016
1
Mr. Speaker,
I wish to report to this August House on the main achievements of
the country’s participation in the Summit of the International
Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); and the 19th
Summit of the COMESA Authority of Heads of State. I also wish to
take this opportunity to highlight Zambia’s efforts to field candidates
for positions in the African Union Commission.
Mr. Speaker,
His Excellency the President attended the 7th High Level Meeting
of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM), for Peace, Security
and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC) and the Region that was held in Luanda, Angola,
on 26th October 2016. His Excellency the President was
accompanied by myself and senior Government officials.
The purpose of the meeting was to review progress in the
implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation
Framework Agreement and to assess the security situation in the
Great Lakes Region with particular emphasis on the DRC, Burundi,
South Sudan and Central African Republic.
2
Mr. Speaker,
The Heads of State and Government made several observations
on the Implementation of the commitments as well as on the
neutralisation of negative forces and repatriation of disarmed
combatants.
The House may wish to note that the ICGLR is an effective
platform for pursuing sustainable peace, security, stability and
development in the Great Lakes Region. Since Zambia is not only
geographically joined to these countries but also intertwined at
the socio-economic level it is in our strategic interest to ensure that
political stability is maintained.
The region provides a viable market for Zambian goods and
services and a potential investment destination. It is, therefore,
imperative that Zambia plays a prominent role in ensuring peace
and security in the region. Equally, our engagement also gives the
country a strategic edge to garner support for its own interests
both at the regional and continental level as well as beyond.
In this regard, His Excellency the President held fruitful Bilateral
meetings with his counterparts from Angola and the DRC on the
margins of the Summit. As a result, His Excellency President Kabila
has accepted to undertake a State Visit to Zambia during which
political and economic matters will be discussed for mutual
benefit of both countries and the region.
3
In addition, the Ministry is preparing for a mini-Summit among
three countries of Angola, Zambia and DRC which will enable the
Heads of State to discuss matters of mutual interest and the
shared desire to develop a growth triangle in the region.
Mr. Speaker,
I also wish to report that His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu,
President of the Republic of Zambia led the Zambian delegation
to the 19th Summit of the COMESA Authority of Heads of State and
Government that was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on 18th
and 19th October 2016, under the theme “Inclusive and
Sustainable Industrialisation”.
The COMESA Summit was preceded by the 15th Meeting of
Ministers of Foreign Affairs that deliberated on the peace and
security situation in the region and the 36th Meeting of the Council
of Ministers that prepared the agenda for Summit.
Mr. Speaker,
I am happy to report that His Excellency the President delivered his
Maiden Speech at the Summit reaffirming Zambia’s commitment
to the aspirations of COMESA.
4
The President reiterated Zambia’s honour and privilege to host the
regional body and highlighted that the Government had made
available ten (10) acres of land for the construction of the new
and modern COMESA Headquarters in Lusaka.
In this regard, Summit expressed appreciation to the Zambian
Government for its generosity and called for the commencement
of the construction immediately after the formalities were
concluded. Indeed the hosting of this important regional institution
will continue bringing Zambia a number of benefits including job
creation and placement of Zambian nationals which is one of the
objectives of Zambia’s Foreign Policy that is aimed at advancing
national interest.
Mr. Speaker,
In considering the Report of the COMESA Committee of Elders
which included Election Observer Missions, Summit commended
Zambia and in particular the Electoral Commission of Zambia for
organising successful elections as well as the Zambian people for
conducting themselves in a peaceful manner before, during and
after elections.
Summit, therefore, congratulated His Excellency Mr. Edgar
Chagwa Lungu and Her Honour Mrs. Inonge Mutukwa Wina, MP.,
upon their election as President and Vice President of the
Republic of Zambia, respectively.
5
It is, indeed, encouraging to receive such accolades and
recognition at the regional level, for our adherence as a country
to the values of democracy, peace, and good governance.
Mr. Speaker,
We are indeed blessed as a country for the peace and stability
that we continue to enjoy and should cherish this as a gift from
God Almighty. As we are all aware, other countries in the region
continue to face conflict and displacement of their people which
has posed a humanitarian challenge that requires collective
effort.
In this regard, Zambia was one of the countries recognised and
thanked by Summit for hosting refugees coming from conflict-torn
countries and Member States were urged to emulate those who
were assisting refugees in order to ease the burden.
This goes to show that Zambia’s efforts are appreciated and make
a difference in the region which is in line with our Foreign Policy
values of good neighbourliness, non-discrimination and coexistence.
6
Mr. Speaker,
Zambia’s geographical position as a landlinked country provides
comparative advantage for being a hub for various economic
activities such as cross-border trade. However, lack of information
and capacity can limit the potential to maximize benefits from
such strategic opportunities.
I am, therefore, pleased to report that Summit noted that Zambia
has benefitted under the COMESA Post Conflict Reconstruction
and Development programme by way of a new Trade
Information Desk in Mokambo as well as sanitation facilities for
small scale cross border traders on both sides of Mokambo border.
This is in addition to another Trade Information Desk on the
Zambian side of the Kasumbalesa border as well as workshops
held for members of the Cross Border Traders Association.
Mr. Speaker,
Promotion of trade is one of the objectives of Zambia’s Foreign
Policy as an engine of economic growth and socio-economic
development. Towards this end, the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite
Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) will provide participating countries
with expanded markets and increase market access for their
products.
7
Summit, therefore, commended the eighteen (18) Member States,
including Zambia that have signed the Tripartite Agreement and
urged them to complete the ratification process so that the
Agreement can enter into force and benefits can begin to
accrue.
Mr. Speaker,
In terms of regional programmes, Summit considered the status of
Industrialisation in the COMESA region and urged Member States
to implement the COMESA Industrialisation Policy in order to
produce value added products so as to increase intra-COMESA
trade in manufactured and inter-mediate products.
This is in line with the Zambian aspirations of value addition and
diversification as well as the SADC Industrialisation strategy to drive
integration using industrialisation as a tool and thereby create
jobs. The regional and national efforts are therefore in tandem
and our country stands to benefit immensely from the synergies
the will accrue.
Mr. Speaker,
As I bring my submission to a close, it is clear that the benefits and
achievements which I have highlighted are directly related to the
level of engagements of our Head of State with the international
community in this case, under COMESA and the ICGLR.
8
Government’s vision for international relations is ‘for Zambia to be
an effective and influential player on the regional and
international arena; maximising the benefits that accrue to the
country from being a member of the international community.’
Mr. Speaker,
I am happy to announce that through this strong and purposeful
interaction with the international community Zambia has secured
two candidates for the Commissioner positions at the African
Union Commission.
The two are Ambassador Albert Muchanga and Dr. Austin
Sichinga for the position of Commissioner – Trade and Industry and
the position of Commissioner – Rural Economy and Agriculture,
respectively. The candidates are the SADC regional candidates
for those positions after being selected through a competitive
process at a SADC forum. The COMESA Summit in turn noted the
candidatures and urged Member States to support them.
The final selection will be undertaken at the AU Executive Council
Meeting to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January, 2017. My
Ministry is embarking on a rigorous campaign to lobby other
African countries for the subsequent election of the Zambian
candidates during that meeting next January.
9
Lastly Mr. Speaker, I wish to emphasise that it is only by interaction
with the international community, at all levels, that Zambia can
meet its Foreign Policy objective of advancing its national
interests.
I, therefore, wish to state as I have done before in this house that
the active participation of His Excellency the President in regional,
continental and global affairs, as well as his increased interactions
and engagements at bilateral level will continue to advance
Zambia’s standing on the international stage and serve to
promote Zambia’s national interests.
Zambia will therefore continue to reach out to the international
community in order to advance our national interest.
Mr Speaker,
I thank you.

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