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Opening Statement Delivered by H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, President of The Republic of Zambia During The Opening Session of the 4th Mid-Year Coordination Summit Of Heads of State and Government of The African Union

Opening Statement Delivered by H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, President of The Republic of Zambia During The Opening Session of the 4th Mid-Year Coordination Summit Of Heads of State and Government of The African Union

July 17, 2022
  • Your Excellency, Macky Sall, President of The Republic of Senegal And Chairperson of The African Union;
  • Your Excellencies Heads of States and Government of African Union Member States Here Present;
  • Your Excellency, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of The African Union Commission;
  • Your Excellencies, Former Heads of State and Government;
  • Her Excellency, Dr. Vera Songwe, United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of The Economic Commission for Africa;
  • Your Excellencies, Representatives of Heads of State and Government,
  • Your Excellencies, Invited Guests,
  • Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen;

On behalf of the government and people of the republic of Zambia, we are profoundly honoured and privileged to welcome you all to Lusaka, and indeed grateful, for this rare opportunity to host the 4th mid-year coordination meeting in our country. 

This summit brings together members of the bureau of the assembly of African union and the chairpersons of our regional economic communities on the continent, to discuss pertinent issues related to our integration agenda, and other issues affecting our continent.

The mid-year coordination meeting was borne out of the need to ensure efficiency in the execution of our continental programmes for the benefit of our peoples. 

Your presence at this meeting, therefore, as representatives of the 8 regional economic communities, attests to your strong commitment to deliver on this mandate placed on us to attain the objectives that we have set out for ourselves in our continental transformation blueprint – agenda 2063.

Chairperson,

Before we proceed, we would like to take this opportunity to thank his excellency, Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African union commission, and commend his team for the he support rendered to the Zambian government in ensuring that this summit is held successfully.

Chairperson, your excellencies,

At this juncture, we would like to reflect on our theme for the year 2022 which is: “building resilience in nutrition and food security across the African continent: strengthening agriculture, accelerate the human capital, social and economic development”.

The theme reminds us of the urgent need to reflect deeply and pay special attention to the welfare and well-being of our people, and transform our collective potential in agriculture, into tangible results and ensure that nutrition and food security are guaranteed on our continent.

We are confident, that despite the pervasive disruptions of climate change, the covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, our continued resolve to work together as a continent will lead us to overcoming these challenges and deliver on our shared objective of achieving sustainable, inclusive economic growth and development on the continent.

To effectively address the impact of climate change and other shocks, we wish to encourage member states to consider signing and ratifying the Africa risk capacity treaty, which will open up assistance channels in planning, preparing and responding to these shocks in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Chairperson,

To guard against the growing global problem of food insecurity which is being compounded by rising costs of food, energy and agricultural inputs, we need to raise the levels of productivity in agriculture, emphasise on value addition through Agro-processing, accelerate research in agriculture, emphasise on and increase support to rural farmers whose livelihoods mainly depend on agriculture.

Further, to expedite the economic transformation of our continent, African countries need enhance intra – continental trade and take full advantage of opportunities presented by the Africa continental free trade area, which offers a 1.3 billion market size for products from within the continent.

We need to accelerate implementation of agenda 2063 flagship projects such as the integrated high-speed train railway network which will improve connectivity on the continent and allow easy, faster, and free movement of goods and people.

In addition, initiatives such as the programme on infrastructure development in Africa (PIDA) are critical in enhancing regional integration and fostering economic transformation on the continent by opening up our borders and interconnecting our countries.

Chairperson,

There can be no meaningful economic development on our continent, or indeed anywhere else, in the absence of peace and security.

We must work and act together to silence the guns and all hotbeds of violence on our continent – such as the Islamism insurgent activities in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Somalia, the Sahel and our sister republic of Mozambique, by addressing the root causes of these conflicts.

These include, but is not limited to addressing economic and political governance issues, the educational system, lack of dialogue and most recently, the threat posed by the covid19 pandemic.

Chairperson,

The Zambian government and our people, pledge and reaffirm our commitment to being a shinning beacon of peace in championing the realization of a peaceful and ultimately a prosperous Africa.

Chairperson, your excellencies and dear colleagues,

As we conclude, let me reassure you that Zambia will continue to play her part in supporting the work of the African union in the actualization of our continental aspirations for peace and security, inclusive economic growth and development, as well as building democracies that deliver dividends for our people.

Excellencies,

We look forward to fruitful deliberations and we are confident that the outcomes of this summit will move us closer to our vision of a prosperous, peaceful and integrated Africa.

God bless you.

God bless Africa.

I thank you for your kind attention.

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