October 9, 2008

Sata promises shift in foreign policy

Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata has pledged to shift the concentration of Zambia's foreign policy from developed nations to fellow developing countries if elected Republic president. He emphasised that Zambia could learn much more from fellow developing countries than from the developed ones, hence his intended policy shift. The opposition leader said this when Brazilian Ambassador to Zambia, Josal Luiz Pellegrino called on him at his office. "In the last 44 years we have paid so much attention to developed nations. We have paid lip-service to our fellow developing countries like Brazil, India and others. "Our government, therefore, will change that and we will pay more attention to our fellow developing countries because we will learn much more from them than from the developed countries," said Mr Sata who was with party vice-president, Guy Scott. He said one of the major lessons Zambia could learn from Brazil, for instance, was how the South American country, with similar conditions as Zambia's, managed to change from the export of raw materials to the export of finished products. Mr Sata said Brazilian leaders realised that their country could only be developed by Brazilians themselves and not any outsiders. "You used to export raw materials but you said why can't we export finished products. It means you have appreciated God's gift," he said.

Sata stressed that Zambia had the same climatic conditions as some of the countries, which were leading producers of commodities like rice and wheat but there had been too much concentration on maize farming. The PF leader also said his administration would make the civil service truly independent from political interference. He said there was need to come up with a situation where the civil service could run the Government even without the executive. According to him, corruption was another drawback to national development and hampered development of the precious stone sector despite Zambia being a major producer. He said that Zambia was the major producer of emeralds but efforts to earn income from this area and invest in national development were being frustrated by corruption leading to the Government losing out in revenue. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)

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