9.5 C
Alba Iulia
Wednesday, January 12, 2022

WORDS AND DEEDS: The Creation of a US-based Zambian Think Thank

Columns WORDS AND DEEDS: The Creation of a US-based Zambian Think Thank

By Field Ruwe EdD

Deeds not Words to Words and Deeds

Believe me when I say since my relocation to the United States, I have helped a good number of Zambians with non-monetary venture capital in the form of market and managerial advice. As I pen this article, I am inundated with queries and proposals from Zambian entrepreneurs, innovators, and inventors, and others of varying talent—all culminating in one challenging question “what can you do for us—for your motherland, you there in the U.S.?”

I start my article thus because of a poem sent to me by a reader of my last article: “Like clouds and winds which do not bring rain, so are your words. For often we see that clouds emitting great claps of thunder threaten great rains, yet often do not bring what they portend. Just so are people like you who produce words but do no deeds.” Another wrote simply; “you are the one the president [Hakainde Hichilema] is referring to when he says some intellectuals just talk.”

Malala’s quote provides perhaps the best rejoinder on my behalf: “There’s no greater weapon than knowledge and no greater source of knowledge than the written word.” I might add: The pen is mightier than the nuclear bomb. And so is the tongue. Don’t forget John 1:1; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Words made the world. Listening to his inaugural speech HH seemed to evoke JFK’s famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” This citation is an exemplar of the awesome power of words. Americans, friends and foe did not only listen, hear, and feel the words they saw the magnetism of a young dreamer pull them together with a compelling vision. Regardless of their political affiliation they rallied behind his vision and turned words and deeds into the greatest nation on earth.

In Zambia the catchphrase “Words and Deeds,” and not “Deeds not Words” has never been so timely. Coming on the heels of the August 12, 2021, presidential election that ushered in a pragmatic president who has offered hope to a people battered by years of economic mayhem, the mantra “Words and Deeds” is our adorning. When words and deeds are in accord, building a nation is made easier because there is someone to direct and another to execute.

If “Words and Deeds” become the rallying cry of every Zambian then we are on the road to prosperity. If on the other hand, the cult of ignorance, jealousy, conscientious stupidity, witch-hunting, and the strain of anti-intellectualism entwine our humanity like in the past then failure is the apotheosis of our existence on earth. We might as well admit we cannot learn from history and are therefore damned fools.

Hichilema has kicked off his presidency the way Kaunda and Mwanawasa did—with a vision. The ball is in his court. Before he serves it for the win, he needs moral guts, eye on the ball, an arm full of power, and an apt sense for execution. If our hearts beat true to our country then we must rally behind him, each one of us regardless of ideology, and lift his soul at any sign of infirmity. Remember, the common denominator of every successful country is UNITY. Kaunda put it succinctly: Unity is strength.

Change is Never on a Silver Platter

At this juncture, Hichilema’s comprehensive vision, enthroned in his heart as it is, is only a figment of his imagination. It is doable only if he cares to surround himself with learned, thoughtful, talented, and experienced people who can provide him with the evidence-based information needed to enhance his agenda. It is to such sages successful presidents have applied the virtue of listening both in means and ends.

I have reached out to him, first to congratulate him, and also to assure him of my support. I endorsed him because I believed he would be in the State House not merely to make a living or enrich himself. I believed, and still do that it is on his vision he will salvage our beloved country and change lives for the better.

But change does not come easy. Creating a workable and successful policy agenda will be a daunting task. Even the best minds fail to translate a well-articulated and persuasive concept into reality. All U.S. presidents placed in the first quartile of successful leaders turned to think tanks to help set their agenda, among them Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. To succeed, Hakainde Hichilema will have to do the same.

Hichilema’s rallying cry of a better Zambia, his speech of total commitment to change, and his sincere and rare call to Zambian intellectuals to talk less and act more, is a paradoxical, corollary for help. He knows he does not have all the answers and understands the problems ahead are more difficult than Zambians have yet to fathom.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

It is with the afore-stated in mind that I am stepping forward to create a think tank comprising Zambian state-builders in the Diaspora who can help the president to push his agenda through workable ideas and networks. To be called Zambia Development Institute (ZDI), it is a proposed US-based strategic think tank that seeks to commemorate the ideals and concerns of Zambians in their quest for change. Neutral and nonpartisan, the institute will be a dynamic professional and academic agency that will stand the test of time.

The idea of think tanks helping presidents execute their agendas goes back to the Industrial Revolution (1760-1840) that witnessed the last stage of proto-industrialization—the first transformation from agricultural to an industrial economy. Think tanks catalyzing change advocated for life-changing characteristics; technological progress, a shift from rural work to industrial labor, financial investments in new industrial structures, and early developments in social consciousness and theories.

It was such characteristics that saw the Japanese government create a strong, centralized state in the 19th century. To achieve this, the Japanese government funded Japanese think tanks in England and the United States to directly learn from American innovators and inventors. Other Asian countries followed suit. Similarly, the raison de’etre for ZDI is to mobilize Zambian academics in the Diaspora so they can have direct access to know-how, expertise, research opportunities, lab space, and other incentives that enhance development.

In the coming days, I will be sending the president an executive summary of my initiative outlining ZDI’s vision, mission, and objectives. ZDI’s mandate will be to provide evidence-based recommendations in technological, economical, and socio-economical issues concerned with the reformation of education, the expansion of industrialization, and the alleviation of poverty.

In this regard, ZDI will be innovative and nimble enough to work with U.S. academic professionals in universities and institutions that support Third World development. The institute will be instrumental in helping to facilitate and improve knowledge and skills of the subjects of technology and economic development.

It is also the intention of ZDI to act as a clearinghouse for Zambian goods, minerals, and businesses, talent, and other innovative ideas. To this, the institute will foster interactive and constructive dialogue with Zambians and various U.S. academic institutions, technological entities, industries, and business enterprises, and assist organizations and individuals accordingly where and when appropriate.

Why Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The Greater City of Boston, Massachusetts has been strategically chosen as the base of the institute due to its legacy as the innovation hub behind the might of the United States. Zambian Development Institute will join other Boston-based foreign think tanks in Cambridge, a major suburb of the Boston metropolitan area.

The cradle of technology, Cambridge houses the “Brainpower Duel” Harvard, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is home to leading tech, manufacturing, and biotech firms. Its Kendal Square is recognized internationally as the innovation district that is propelled by the synergies of imagination and ingenuity.

There you are; this I hope will be my contribution to my beloved country. The year 2022 is pivotal for Zambia. The year will unveil a challenging and meandering path from poverty to prosperity. It will need brains, dedication to duty, perseverance, and resilience to reach the promised land. It will need Zambians’ willingness to work hard, take risks, aim beyond capabilities, and develop a complete disregard for failure. Let’s march together with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Good Article but you needed to Summarize it. Think the Audience, as you mentioned not all Zambians back home would get your message. Yes, the New Dawn Government should not be carried away and obstructed by the same failures from MMD, PF etc. who are opportunists. HH and UPND leadership should live by their Words.

    1
    1
  2. Useless Makaka….why waste time with your nonsensical article….this Pompwe rates himself so high and he’s full of lies…too much self praise all the time I did this… I had this, I have this,am doing this….investors this….” if you can spend one hour explaining what you have done it means you’ve done nothing….shut up and let your works speak for itself” PLO Lumumba

    10
    3
  3. Why am I even reading this sh!t? I have work to do to feed my family since no politicians or !diot seems capable of fulfilling their promises.

    8
    4
  4. Well said. All of us should rally behind the vision of the president and find ways we can contribute to fulfil it and move away from entertaining the noise of political chimpanzee whose aim is not to contribute but find opportunities to disturbilize this agenda. I salute your efforts sir.

    7
    7
  5. Great idea and well thought out. Wish your way will be paved and the Good Lord grants favor as you present this the president. On the other hand be ready for insults and ridicule that is hat the average Zambian has learnt as a rsult of successive failures in the hope they put in presidents. I am hopeful HH will redeem the dignity of our people.

    9
    4
  6. I’d rather listen to GBM whose business ventures are in Zambia and not a “think tank” based in the US.

    10
    5
  7. Hahaha I am glad people have seen through this useless upnd cadre. If you remember he wrote an article attacking me after I pointed out how f00Iish he was. He thinks being an asylum seeker in America is a huge achievement. F00Iish upnd diasporan

    9
    6
  8. Nothing to do with politics Sir! Ca you direct me where I can buy your small handbook written” best jokes” ? Being in Zim, may you refer me to one bookshop especially in Livingstone so that I can request my relative based in Vic. Falls to cross over and acquire one for me. Enjoying your articles good people of that great nation Zambia.

    3
    3
  9. Any think tank should for the nation and its intellectuals not aimed at a President of a political party

    4
    1
  10. @1 Nostradamus
    I know you don’t mince words….kikikikikiki just one word is enough for you to describe Field Ruwe who thinks being based in America is a big deal….Think Tank…this man had some serious identity problems and inferiority complex….just like makaka Elias Munshya

    7
    6
  11. Brilliant, don’t be discouraged by those who are afraid to think, let alone put any thoughts on paper eloquently.

    8
    4
  12. Well done Mr Ruwe………

    You can see the suppoters of the clique of theives the president is referring to above not happy with any contribution that does not involve corruption………

    Pleas post more updates from ZDI on LT , just to burn the CLIQUE and their supporters on LT……

    12
    5
  13. “Regardless of their political affiliation they rallied behind his vision and turned words and deeds into the greatest nation on earth.”LT

    UPND They utterly be thankful to PF Administration for their Big margin vote in the history of Zambia. With out PF not following political protocol UPND
    Administration they were never going to see Victory. UPND never had a convincing vision. Zambian people Used him to remove PF, ouch.

    4
    6
  14. I’m sure his advice has brought misery and misfortune to many Zambians – in the past, in the present and surely in the future. Zambia is MUCH better off with you there in the USA, and us staying here. Zambian think tank? No thanks. For once I agree with KZ……

    5
    6
  15. Looks like Mr Ruwe upset the CLIQUE and their supporters on LT by endorsing HH……

    Pay the supporters on LT of the CLIQUE no mind Mr ruwe………

    Hehehe……….

    We have a new name, some people were not happy being called PF rats , so I pledged to stop using that phrase……

    Me thinks ” supporters of the clique ”
    sounds more civilised…….

    7
    3
  16. This deserves our unflinching support; do not be swayed by naysayers! Please don’t forget to include a local chapter in your proposals.

    10
    4
  17. well the man with the longest queue in town….its a good joke as always..we know you want a job back home just put in your cv even though you still writing your phd ten years later

    3
    4
  18. Thanks for sharing the idea. However, two things don’t sit well Field.
    1. Basing “Zambia’s think tank” abroad and comprising only with Academicians living in abroad.
    I think you have forgotten that Zambia is in Zambia and Zambians are not drawn from academia only. Japan and others who sent nationals in foreign lands to “learn how what they wanted was done” had think tanks home. The sent were not think tanks but rather foot soldiers working within the terms and conditions of their appointing authorities.
    2. The idea seem to be yours only. Couldn’t it been floated around so others could imput in to polish it up and close gapping holes. Such things like appearing to suggest that only people living abroad Academicians have the solution for Zambia’s economic and social ills could…

    6
    1
  19. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    Dr (??) Field Ruwe, this is a great initiative and something I actually thought about myself many years ago. However, I feel like you need to detach yourself from this if you really want it to be an all-inclusive, comprising of Zambians intellectuals (whether Diaspora based or not). You say “…In the coming days, I will be sending the president an executive summary of my initiative outlining ZDI’s vision, mission, and objectives.”. Why the rush? Again if you don’t want this to be your own personal ‘Kantemba’, you needed to consult widely; circulate that Vision for feedback and input from other intellectuals to gain consensus before you send it to the President. Yes you need vision; mission and objectives but you also need terms of reference and/or Constitution… with…

  20. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    …Yes you need vision; mission and objectives but you also need terms of reference and/or Constitution… with others’ input. Issues like locations/HQs, all of these you are pre-empting as you needed input and consensus… e.g. why not HQs in Zambia or South Africa? Why not London; Melbourne; etc.? MIT is mainly for education and R&D, usually aimed for profitable businesses and this has no relation to Boston whatsoever (apart from the fact you live there)… how many Zambian intellectuals are at MIT/Boston? There are lots of variables you need to consider Dr Ruwe.
    FYI there has been initiatives like this but they all land on their backside because they are usually ill-conceived; the recent one I know of is called ‘Zambian Diaspora Leadership Organization’; and there is also a…

  21. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    …the recent one I know of is called ‘Zambian Diaspora Leadership Organization’; and there is also a Diaspora Policy in Foreign Ministry… you need to consult these and either merge or consolidate. Again if you are targeting intellectuals you need to give us an opportunity to have an input into this or it will be yours and yours only.

  22. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    …Yes you need vision; mission and objectives but you also need terms of reference and/or Constitution… with others’ input. Issues like locations/HQs, all of these you are pre-empting as you needed input and consensus… e.g. why not HQs in Zambia or South Africa? Why not London; Melbourne; etc.? MIT is mainly for education and R&D, usually aimed for profitable businesses and this has no relation to Boston whatsoever (apart from the fact you live there)… how many Zambian intellectuals are at MIT/Boston? There are lots of variables you need to consider Dr Ruwe.
    FYI there has been initiatives like this but they all land on their [email protected] because they are usually !ll-c0nce!ved; the recent one I know of is called ‘Zambian Diaspora Leadership Organization’.

  23. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    S!lly Lusaka Times, why do they keep saying ‘Awaiting Moderation’ for a comment that is rated below PG?

  24. This is a great idea Sir. I may not be based in the US…but I am ready to render my brains for free for our country if need be. We can all contribute in our small ways.

    4
    3
  25. Field thanks for your ideas and well articulated article. Field, lets push that agenda please. You will receive a backlash from remnants who brought our country to its knees in economic, political and social spheres. They are bitter arrogant and very envious of HH, obviously they did not expect it and its eating them up. Their blogs smack of bitterness and hollowness. Remember they were never ever innovative when they were in power, do you think they even understood what green is, they could just go as far as ZEMA. So we are dealing with that breed which can not even comprehend what you have written. But what I know is that remnants never win because the core was uprooted on August 12

    3
    2
  26. DR FIELD RUWE.. Well Done and keep it up……..

    INDEPENDENT OBSERVER…. this Goldman Sachs investment banker ( mother f***) is always ranting on lusaktimes. This guy just got lucky. He bought 1700 Bitcoins at $15 each and 8 years later sold them for $30,000 each before they went up to $55,000 each. So, he makes $50m, buys 10 apartments for £10m and now wants to lecture Zambians about Wealth Creation this and that sh*t. INDEPENDENT OBSERVER is no difference to that DR. DAMBIZO MOYO who wrote the book called DEAD AID, which angered Microsoft Founder BILL GATES and the two of them went into a twitter spat. DAMBIZO MOYO is technically a Billionaire as she is married to a white American Billionaire. Funny enough she also worked for Goldman Sachs for a while and left. She now sits on the…

  27. What he means is that when he was resident in Zambia, he was not thinking. Now that he is resident in useless USA, he is now thinking. Lord help us! Africa why?

    3
    3
  28. Good initiative. Every time government has changed there is lot of goodwill and intellectuals, business people etc offer all sorts of advice. Some new government have taken advice. Others have trashed and rebuked well intended advice. They opted to listen to praise singers like Dan Pyle and Andrew Ntewewe. Obviously not all advice is spot on. However, there is no harm in evaluating any advice.

    1
    1
  29. …… Ba Dr Ruwe,, Me thinking that you are partly responding to lusakatimes and (advfn.com) blogger INDEPENDENT OBSERVER, because he was the one who commented and respondent to your article that – ( Dr Ruwe you are the reason why HH says Zambia has educated people who have nothing to
    show, but want to be significant ) or something going in those lines !

    ….. Ba Dr Ruwe,, I think you and INDEPENDENT OBSERVER should sit down together, share ideas and talk, now that you have set up this
    Think Tank. I can’t wait to hear what INDEPENDENT OBSERVER has to say on your article today

    1
    2
  30. >> She now sits on the Board of Directors of Goldman Sacks. She is a sell-out. I dont get it when Americans voted for her to be among the the “Top 100 Influential People” by Times Magazines. Her book DEAD AID was trashing the $1 Trillion aid given to Africa as a waste of money, when surely it has helped millions of poor people. She trashes Africa and gets praised on New York Times Book Seller. What the f*ck is all that for……. There you have it from me bloggers >>

  31. @27 General Powell
    Just ignore this moron Field Ruwe…he’s just a useless attention seeker…he has no substance…he just have access to free internet no wonder he has time to write all his nonsense….” American based think tank”….my assssss….

    2
    2
  32. Zambia
    Today
    30#

    Eiiish! That’s the problem with us black people. If one of us makes it we start trashing them.
    Well if the guy has made that money then he is without doubt a smart guy. Is it not what most of us are chasing
    in life to accumulate wealth, have a better life, help our loved ones and give back if you we can. I bought
    40 bitcoins in 2011 at $9.50 and I really regret selling them when I quadrupled my investments.
    How I wish I still owned them today as I would have made
    about $1.5 million, quit my job and head back to Zambia. I think its about time you left this guy alone, you have insulted him so many times but he never responds to you. I am guessing you are just jealousy of him and he is giving you sleepless nights.

  33. Ba Ruwe you should know by now that Zambians are not open to ideas by fellow Zambians. For example how many Zambian inventors have been supported here in Zambia? For America to be where it is takes belief in home grown talent but they have also welcomed talented immigrants who have gone on to do great things. Formulating solutions to social economic problems for Zambia when you don’t actually live in the country might be a miss because you don’t actually have a feel of what is happening on the ground. Some people have come to Zambia to do projects in Zambia but those projects failed because Zambians didn’t respond to them.

Comments are closed.

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Kalaba’s DP confident of successfully fielding a candidate in the rescheduled Kabwata Election

The opposition Democratic Party (DP) is confident of successfully fielding a candidate in the rescheduled Kabwata Constituency Parliamentary by-election...

More Articles In This Category