The Embassy of Zambia in Sweden has partnered with the Finnish-Zambian Association (Fin-Zam) with plans to embark on a series of ambitious social and economic projects involving Zambian and Finnish organizations and individuals.
The planned activities will see the association, in collaboration with the Embassy, host business promotional events involving Zambian and Finnish companies from various economic sectors, among several other projects.
According to a statement issued to the media by Zambia Embassy to Sweden Counsellor Nicky Shabolyo, the Finland-based association has since split its operations and created three segments namely, Sustainable development department, Tradition and Culture, and one to take care of Education and Charity issues.
The statement stated that Zambia’s Ambassador to Sweden, also accredited to Finland, Rose Salukatula, welcomed the initiative, pledging the Embassy’s full support to Fin-Zam as it rolls out its programmes.
Ambassador Salukatula noted that the efforts by Zambians were what the Embassy has been looking forward to.
She advised that the Embassy will be available and do everything within its capacity to help Fin-Zam achieve the objectives of the projects that it has lined-up.
The Ambassador observed that as much as Zambians and other nationals relied on the Embassy for various services, the Embassy also depended on Zambians and other friendly nationals in countries to which it is accredited in order to achieve its objectives.
“We see this as a partnership that will enable both the Embassy and the association achieve objectives which, apparently, are of common interest to both of us,” she said.
Ms Salukatula added that the collaboration will also make it easier for them to roll-out government programs to people in that region.
And Fin-Zam chairperson, Benjamin Musuku pointed out that his association embarked on an ambitious path of rebranding itself in order to align its goals and objectives to prevailing needs and interests.
Mr Musuku noted that the creation of the three specialized departments was part of the rebranding and transformation process.
He further noted that the Sustainable Development Department will focus on initiating projects to foster sustainable development in the Zambian sectors dealing with energy, the environment and climate, commerce and trade, water and tourism.
He added that the Education and Charity Department will look into promoting early childhood education and enhancing academic relations between Finland and Zambia.
Mr Musuku explained that the third department will focus on tourism and culture, aiming at promoting Zambian culture in the Nordic region through performances and workshops.
“We have since launched some projects under each of these departments such as the Fin-Zam Expo 2020. We also have the ‘Fin-Zam Bright Zambia’ project which has been launched under the Education and Charity Department to identify 100 most vulnerable children in Zambia and sponsor them to school beginning this year as a way of complimenting the Zambian government efforts,” he further added.
He indicated that Fin-Zam Student Affairs has been launched with the objective of supporting arriving and departing students or staff between Finland and Zambia.
Mr Musuku highlighted that the scope extends to building Alumni networks and promoting academic possibilities between the two countries.
He disclosed that Fin-Zam had engaged the Embassy to start work on preparations to host the first ‘Fin-Zam Expo 2020’ in Helsinki on 23rd October, 2020, as part of this year’s Zambia’s Independence Day commemoration which fell on 24 th October, 2020.
He said the event planned under the theme: ‘Business opportunities and Tourism in Zambia’ had to be postponed to next year due to the current restrictions arising from the coronavirus pandemic..
Mr Musuku further pointed out that a cultural ensemble has been formed under the Tradition and Culture Department, which will be holding performances and workshops in schools, public gatherings and government events as a way of educating people about Zambian culture.
He described Fin-Zam as a not-for-profit organization that aims at fostering bilateral relationships between Finland and Zambia, and promotes the well-being of Zambians living in Finland.
The Expo is intended to have companies, organizations and individuals from Zambia travelling to Helsinki where they would have a platform from which to explore opportunities and forge networks with others interested in carrying out development projects and business ventures between Zambia and Finland.
The Expo will also be used for the promotion of Zambian tourism.