First Lady says art is key to development

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First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa says art plays a pivotal role in the socioeconomic development of the country.

Mrs Mwanawasa said art is a significant mean of communication that if used effectively, can contribute to the enhancement of development in the country.

Mrs Mwanawasa said art is an effective tool that can be used in disseminating information on the dangers of the HIV/AIDS pandemic which has ravaged many African
countries.

She was speaking when she officially launched the Francophonie Week, 2007 Art Exhibition at COMESA centre in Lusaka today.

She also pointed out that art is an important vehicle for regional integration and the promotional of co-existence among COMESA member states.

Mrs. Mwanawasa has since appealed to the French embassy and COMESA secretariat to help facilitate the export of Zambian art to other COMESA member states and beyond.

Meanwhile, Mrs Mwanawasa said she was encouraged that several women are participating in the weeklong art exhibition at the COMESA centre, adding that this
illustrated the encompassing nature of art.

She said the participation of women proved that they are also equal partners in the development of the country.

Speaking at the same function, French Ambassador to Zambia, Francis Saudubray, urged COMESA to maximize the understanding of its mission to integrate economies,
territories and people by contributing to the meeting of African talents such as arts.

Mr. Saudubray said France is pleased that more than half of the member states of COMESA also belong to the International Organisation of Francophonie countries.

And COMESA Secretary General, Erastus Mwencha, said the exhibition was a result of teamwork among COMESA staff, the French Embassy and the Visual Arts Council of
Zambia and other participating countries.

Mr. Mwencha said the success of the exhibition is a testimony of what can be achieved through cooperation among all the stakeholders.

ZANIS

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