President Hakainde Hichilema says the government will not change the country’s values to conform to those of the United States of America (USA).
President Hichilema however, acknowledges that Zambia and USA both believe in upholding the rule of law, human rights and tenets of democracy which should not be mistaken that Zambia has adopted American values.
President Hichilema was speaking at State House yesterday afternoon when USA visiting Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Jose Fernandez called on him.
President Hichilema lamented that the media has misinterpreted the values the two countries share.
“We are not altering our values to align with American values, these are our values. They happen to be shared by Americans as well,” he said.
And President Hichilema observed that despite the African continent believing in democracy and the rule of law, the gains the continent has made in the past have seen a backward trend lately.
“Of late we have seen a backsliding effect, a bit of extremism coming through on our continents spreading to areas where it was not normal before, Mozambique for example,” he said.
And President Hichilema thanked the United States Government for supporting Zambia in the area of HIV/AIDS.
“We are grateful for what we have received on behalf of the Zambian People in the HIV space,” he said.
And the President hailed the recent decision by First Quantum Minerals to approve plans for a $1.25 billion expansion of the company’s Kansanshi copper mine in Zambia.
He said the investment by the Canadian firm which has a significant number of American investors is positive for Zambia’s economic growth.
Mr Hichilema wooed the United States to equally invest in other sectors.
He also invited the United States to offer technical expertise and capital to Zambia in the area of electric vehicles.
Speaking earlier, Mr Fernandez hailed Zambia for having huge economic potential.
He said his country stands ready to partner with Zambia to create jobs and prosperity.
Mr Fernandez said the partnership between the two countries is extremely important.
“The US-Zambia partnership is critical to meeting the defining challenges of our time, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis as well as to promote a more inclusive, sustainable global economy and democratic renewal,” he said.