President Rupiah Banda says land management and the distribution of land by Zambians living in the diaspora is one of the biggest challenges government is currently facing.
Addressing scores of Zambians living in New York last evening, President Banda said Zambian citizens should acquire land and develop them.
He said government was devising ways of easing the process of acquiring land, especially by Zambians living abroad.
He said he has since advised the Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane and the Minister of Lands Peter Daka to find ways of making the process of acquiring land uncumbersome.
President Banda said land was very valuable hence Zambians, regardless of where they live, should acquire pieces of land for agriculture and other investment.
He urged Zambians living abroad who wish to apply for land to specify where they would want to acquire land.
And President Banda has asked Zambians in the diaspora to consider investing in their country and return home after their various adventures and other activities.
He said he has opened an office at State House which receives specific requests and concerns of the many Zambians in the diaspora.
The President said Zambians should remain patriotic regardless of what they were doing in foreign countries because they would in future return to their country of origin.
He said South Korea was today an economically successful country because its citizens that once lived in the diaspora were patriotic enough to invest back home in terms of education, technology and skill.
“South Korea is now a developed country because Koreans that were living here in America, in the Silicon Valley on the west coast decided to go back home and apply the knowledge they had in their country. So you can do the same,” he said.
President Banda reminded Zambians in America and other foreign countries to return home and apply their knowledge and invest their moneys back in their country.
“I am very confident that our country will develop if we remain united and manage our resources together in a very good manner,” he said.
He reiterated that the Zambian economy was now doing well because of the sound economic policies and good governance implemented by the late President Mwanawasa in the last eight years.
He said although Zambia was affected by the ongoing global economic crisis, the country managed to keep companies and industries running.
Mr. Banda said only Luanshya Mine was closed for a short period of time but has since been reopened, with 1500 people getting back their jobs.
He said the copper prices that had dwindled by about 70 per cent have since started going high again, an indicator that would make it regain its economic stamina.
President Banda said government was diversifying the economy to reduce dependency on copper alone.
He said to this effect, government was encouraging direct foreign investment to help improve the economy of the country.
Earlier at the same function, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kabinga Pande urged Zambians living abroad to continue behaving in a manner that is acceptable to the country they live in.
Mr. Pande said Zambians have been known to be law abiding citizens even in foreign countries.
President Banda is in New York to attend the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), which officially opens on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009.
On the sidelines of the main General Assembly, President Banda will hold bilateral meetings with selected heads of state and government.
President Banda will on Wednesday be among hundreds of high level delegates at the UN Secretariat for the general debate in which heads of state and government will address the General Assembly.
The President will deliver Zambia’s national statement to the assembly on Thursday 24th September during the continued high-level general debate, which ends on 30th September.
President Banda is also expected to meet US President Barak Obama who will meet heads of state and government from the sub-Saharan African region to discuss the relationship between this region and the United States of America.
Other items on the agenda for President Banda in New York are meeting Zambians leaving in the United States of America (USA), American business community and attending meetings by the Africa Travel Association and the Clinton HIV/AIDS Foundation.
Mr. Banda will during the meeting with the American business community, showcase Zambia’s investment potential in many economic sectors in order to lure foreign investors to do business in the country.
President Rupiah Banda is accompanied by First Lady Thandiwe Banda, Minister of Commerce, Felix Mutati, Foreign Affair Minister Kabinga Pande, Tourism minister, Catherine Namugala, Minister of Health Kapembwa Simbao, Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Tens Kapoma, Special Assistant to the President for Economic and Development Affairs, Dr. Richard Chembe, his Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Dickson Jere.
Other key issues that would be discussed during the 64th General Assembly will be the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), world financial and economic crises and its impact on development, disarmament, UN reforms, including Security Council reform and revitalisation of the General Assembly.
It will also review the peace building commission and the Human Rights Council as well as consider issues relating to system wide coherence, sustainable development and HIV/AIDS.
The theme of the General Assembly is “Effective responses to global crises, strengthening multilateralism and dialogue among civilisations for international peace, security and development”.
The General Assembly, which was established in 1945 under the UN Charter, is a chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN and is a unique forum for multilateral discussions of full spectrum of international issues.