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Statement by his Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, at a State Banquet hosted in his honour during the State Visit to the Republic of Rwanda from 21st – 22nd February, 2018

Statement by his Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, at a State Banquet hosted in his honour during the State Visit to the Republic of Rwanda from 21st – 22nd February, 2018

February 22
15:26 2018

Your Excellency, Mr. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda;

Honourable Ministers from the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Rwanda;

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to the Republic of Rwanda;

Distinguished Guests: I am greatly honoured for me to be before all of you as Guest of Your Excellency President Kagame and the great people of the Republic of Rwanda.

Let me take this opportunity to convey my heartfelt congratulations to Your Excellency for your election as New Chair of the Assembly of the African Union. I am confident that you will effectively drive the agenda of the African Union (AU).

A dancer performs for the visiting Zambian leader at the airport in Kigali yesterday. (Village Urugwiro)

On behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of Zambia, I wish to

The Presidents observe the national anthem at the airport as the Zambian leader began his two-day state visit to Rwanda yesterday. (Village Urugwiro)

thank your Excellency for extending an invitation for me to visit Rwanda, and for the warm and generous hospitality accorded to me and my entire delegation.

I was here last august to attend your Excellency’s inauguration. It is, therefore, a pleasure to once again enjoy the Rwandan hospitality.

It is also heartwarming to be back in Kigali, where we continue to witness remarkable progress in key aspects of your country’s development agenda. I wish to commend your Excellency for this exemplary progress.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests: I wish to now draw your attention to the gloomy picture that the world continues to paint about the African continent and its people.

A cultural troupe was on hand to welcome President Lungu to Rwanda at the Kigali International Airport yesterday. (Village Urugwiro)

At global level, the African continent and its people continue to receive negative perception as evidenced by the discussion on the issue of migration, in particular.

Such negative perceptions perpetrated against our continent call for an urgent need for us Africans, to unite as brothers and sisters under common interests of mutual benefit in order to address the challenges that we face as a people.

Your Excellency, distinguished guests: It is entirely up to us as Africans to rise to the occasion and do all we can to address a myriad of challenges which confront our people and our continent. We can no longer solely look for solutions to our own problems elsewhere.

It is common knowledge that the African continent is heavily endowed with diversity of resources among them our own people who when properly harnessed can make use of their ingenuity to come up with solutions to the continent’s challenges.

Prosper Ndayiragije, the country director of Africa Improved Foods-Rwanda, welcomes the Zambian president to at the factory at the Special Economic Zone. (Timothy Kisambira)

Your Excellency: My visit to Rwanda therefore, is an opportune moment for me to underscore the importance of African countries to harmonise our positions, particularly under the auspices of the African union.

This platform provides us with a great opportunity to speak with one voice on the global stage, if we are to meet our challenges head on and overcome the negative impression of us, held by many outside our continent.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu poses for a group photo with government officials and industry captains after touring the Kigali Special Economic Zone yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)

Your Excellency: In your inauguration speech last year, you stated and I quote:

“The governance and prosperity of Africa cannot be outsourced.” End of quote.

I also note that your Excellency reiterated this sentiment at the January, 2018, assembly of the African union. This resonates well with what i have earlier stated.

In the same vein, I wish to echo your sentiment and urge our people, particularly our youth, not to relent in our quest for solutions to Africa’s challenges by employing their invaluable innovation and ideas.

The success of our continent is entirely in our hands. It is disheartening to note that so many years after our political emancipation; we still continue to seek solutions from outside. We are all aware that much of Africa’s past was not determined by Africans themselves.

However, we now have a golden opportunity to find our own solutions to the many problems. This will enable us to own our own solutions and determine our own future.

President Kagame introduces senior officials to his Zambian counterpart at the airport yesterday. (Village Urugwiro)

Distinguished Guests: Having said that, it is now my singular honour and privilege to invite you all to raise your glasses and join me in proposing a toast: To the continued personal good health of Your Excellency Mr. Paul Kagame, president of the republic of Rwanda; and to continued and increased cooperation between the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Rwanda. Cheers!!! –Circulated by Cecilia Lubumbashi Mulenga (Mrs)

President Edgar Lungu tours C&H garments factory at the Special Economic Zone in Kigali yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)

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