President Edgar Lungu says the decision by the African Union to accept Zambia’s offer to host the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOCC) secretariat in Lusaka, Zambia, is an extremely positive turning point in the unfolding tapestry of Africa’s rich and positive history.
Speaking in Addis Ababa today during a closed door meeting during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU on Zambia’s bid to host the ECOSOCC secretariat of the AU in Lusaka, Zambia, President Lungu said on behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of Zambia, he acknowledges the commendable efforts of the AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and her team, including the office of the Secretary General, the Office of the Legal Counsel and the Citizens and Diaspora Organisations Directorate ( CIDO), for the pivotal role they played throughout the consultative stages leading to the decision.
President Lungu said the positive response from the AU membership is a clear manifestation of the trust and confidence the excellences have in the people of Zambia, saying the move simply confirms the Pan-African spirit that unites Africa into a One Africa.
He assured the AU Chairperson that his government will continue to work closely with the AU Commission to conclude the mandatory processes necessary to ensure an efficient and smooth transfer of the ECOSOCC Secretariat to Lusaka.
“Members will be pleased to note, Mr Chairperson, that appropriate accommodation, albeit transitory, has already been secured near the Central Business District (CBD) of the capital, Lusaka,” said President Lungu.
President Lungu further disclosed that a ten-acre plot near the upcoming and modern suburb area adjacent to the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport has been provided.
He said the government projects that in the not-so-distant future, plans for the construction works for the secretariat’s permanent state-of -the art complex will have been concluded.
The President said he has the title deed for the Secretariat of the ECOSOCC, which he said is a gift from the people of Zambia, adding that the title deed will be presented accordingly, through the normal diplomatic channel.
The Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU this week granted Zambia a bid to host ECOSOCC in Lusaka, Zambia.
The hosting of the ECOSOCC will have greater benefits for the country, especially in the areas of tourism.
The move will also create more jobs for Zambians as many Non-Governmental Organisations will begin to set up offices in Lusaka for easy communication and collaboration with ECOSOCC.