MINISTER of Finance Alexander Chikwanda has said that it was sad that the main speakers at the just ended Global African Diaspora Summit in South Africa did not acknowledge Zambia’s contribution towards the freedom struggle, despite the country having been the epicentre of liberation struggles in Southern Africa.
The summit was hosted by the African Union in partnership with the South African government and took place under the theme “Towards the realisation of a united and integrated Africa and its Diaspora”.
Mr Chikwanda, who was representing President Sata at the summi, said that it is unfortunate that Zambia’s contribution to the liberation struggles in Southern Africa could not even warrant a footnote in the speeches of the main speakers at the summit.
Eminent personalities like former South African President Nelson Mandela, former Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta, former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere and former Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah were fondly mentioned for the role they played in the liberation, but nothing was mentioned about Zambia and former President Kenneth Kaunda.
The main speakers included South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, Benin and current African Union President Boni Yayi, African Union Commission chairperson Jean Ping, Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Nguema Obiang and Vice-President of the Cuban Council of State Esteban Lazo.
The summit was held on the anniversary of the day when the Organisation of African Unity, the forerunner of the African Union, was set up in 1963, and was intended to set up a set of Legacy Projects, including a programme to mobilise Africans outside the continent to help with African development; the creation of an African Diaspora Development Fund to channel remittances from Africans abroad into investment in African development; and the creation of a “development market place” to promote African entrepreneurship.