President Hakainde Hichilema says Zambia continues to enjoy a heritage of bilateral relations with various countries for mutual cooperation. President Hichilema appreciated the strong and long-standing bilateral relations with the three countries for their support in various areas of development.
The Republican President this at the Statehouse when he received credentials from diplomats accredited to Zambia who included Finland, Sweden and the United States of America.
He welcomed the ambassadors, especially at a time when the country is undergoing an economic transformation.
And the President appreciated the U.S government for sending representation at the highest level, after three years on not having an ambassador in Zambia.
He thanked the US government for support towards Zambia’s debt restructuring programme under the common framework where the U.S played a major role in ensuring it success.
“The U.S continued to be one of our strategic partners through the work and support we have received in various areas, a sign of deepened cooperation,” he emphasised.
And the Swedish government described Zambia’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) support as vital in paving way for investment in various sectors.
New Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Johan Hallenborg was happy with the reforms introduced by government especially those aimed at strengthening democracy and human rights.
He cited the improved freedom of the media, review of the public order Act, the adoption of the Children’s Code Bill and intentions to abolish the death penalty as democratic trends achieved by the Zambian government.
The Ambassador added the fight against corruption as crucial noting that Zambia is on the right path.
“Sweden development cooperation in Zambia is aligned with the eighth National Development Plan, supporting government in health, social protection and environment safeguard as well as working with the private sector in leveraging private capital,” Ambassador Hallenborg indicated.
And U.S Ambassador to Zambia Micheal Gozanles congratulated President Hichilema’s administration on a clear public mandate that has received strong support.
The U.S Envoy noted that Zambia has become a global model adding that he is ready to support the accountable and responsive governance demonstrated.
Mr. Gozanles said Zambia stands at a turning point in history as it delivers for it’s people and drives growth to the country’s full potential.
His Finish counterpart Saana Halinen expressed happiness to represent her country in Zambia adding that she will continue from where her predecessor left.
Earlier, President Hichilema swore in three Permanent Secretaries where he implored them and ministers to work as a team in implementing governments vision of economic transformation.
President Hichilema said as articulated in the eighth national development plan, Zambians are closely watching various sectors as they unlock assets that provide for economic development.
The Head of State swore in three Permanent Secretaries in the ministries of energy, mines and minerals development and, commerce, trade and industry.
President Hichilema explained the expectations from the new PS’s include driving the agendas in their respective ministries.
He tasked the ministry of energy’s new Permanent Secretary Hiimba Cheelo to prioritize addressing the challenges in the energy sector such as unlocking the Kalungwishi hydro opportunities.
The President noted the need to decentralize hydro distribution across the country.
He called for sustainable exploitation’s in the energy sector that will not impact on the development of the future generations.
He likewise told the Ministry of Commerce PS John Mulongoti to immediately drive the commerce and industrial agenda of the country.
President Hichilema further wants Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development Mooya Lumamba to ensure that the mining sector is managed in an effective and efficient manner, free from corruption.
He added that challenges faced artisan and small scale miners should be addressed.
“Your roles are simple and, you all coming from the public sector in your respective ministries are aware of what is expected of you, therefore start working,” President Hichilema stated.
The sworn in permanent secretaries pledged to execute their duties as expected of them, thanking the President for the appointments.