The Continental Leadership Research Institute (CLRI) says the party that forms the next government after the August poll should ensure that those appointed to serve in foreign missions are career Diplomats who ensure that the country benefits from it’s foreign relationship.
In a statement issued today, Institute Executive Director, Paul Mundia Hakoola, observes that few Career Diplomats are serving in missions hence the country missing out on potential economic benefits from the foreign relations.
“There is need to have career Diplomats to ensure that the country yields tangible results from having different missions and embassies across the world. The current state of affairs were there very few career diplomats and a lot of cadres in foreign service is causing stress on national treasury and the country has not yielded the intend results of the essence of having foreign missions. Some of these cardres that been deployed in these missions have taken a national holiday and there is no professional and economic benefit to the Zambian tax payer,” he said.
Mr. Hakoola has called for an audit on all Zambian missions across the world and assess their contribution towards the country if they are yielding mission goals, the ability to bring Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) and meet different benchmarks of state importance.
He said the country should put more emphases on economic diplomacy, something he notes is a trend globally.
CLRI also urges citizens to seriously evaluate strategies those wishing to form government will put in place in regards to international relations.
“For instance, Zambia is part of the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) and Common Market for East and Southern African (COMESA) and is currently hosting the secretariat for COMESA, but despite this, the country has not been able to fully utilise the membership with SADC and COMESA. In fact the FDIs from the two bodies have been minimal on the national economy despite paying high annual subscription fees,” he notes.
“In view of the above, the institute calls on all those wishing to form government to have clear policies. The institute recommends that an Act of Parliament is enacted to allow career diplomats to be the ones to save in Zambians missions aboard,” he concludes