- King hosts Zambia President at State Banquet
- Eswatini, Zambia sign two MoUs
Lozitha – King Mswati III has urged all countries to do away with conflicts and embrace tolerance in order to achieve the African Union Agenda 2063. He said, just when the focus had shifted from the effects of COVID-19, countries are now confronted by conflicts that had resulted in loss of lives, property and high commodity prices.
His Majesty was speaking at the State Banquet held in honour of the President of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema who was on a State visit at Lozitha Palace.
In his address, the king noted that, “emaSwati believe in dialogue and solving differences in an amicable way without any confrontation, which has been the greatest pillar of the nation.”
He said a meaningful dialogue could only be achieved under an atmosphere of peace, therefore, the nation needed to strive for peace at all times.
“Let us avoid conflicts. We need to embrace the spirit of tolerance and cooperation, brotherhood, sisterhood and a united continent in order to achieve the AU vision 2063. One of the objectives of SADC Regional Integration is the need to support each other rather than to compete among ourselves. The founding forefathers of our organisation envisaged that in order for our region to realise a vibrant economic development, we need to promote peace and stability in the SADC region.
“Let us therefore follow in the footsteps of our forefathers in achieving their aspirations and dreams by turning them into meaningful actions. Your Excellency, we further extend our appreciation for the gift of cows presented to us. As Africans, we know the value of cows and that they are what makes a man. This is why I will forever cherish this gift.”
The King further noted that climate change was also proving to be a serious impediment to progress. He said they were now focused on rebuilding economies and getting sustainable development programmes back on track.
He also said the state visit signified the strong relations that happily existed between the two countries and their people and further signified the good foundation laid by predecessors, enhanced cooperation and afforded them the opportunity to share ideas and experiences in the pursuit of mutual goals as members of SADC, African Union, Commonwealth, United Nations as well as the multilateral organisations.
His Majesty said it had also culminated in the signing of agreements that sought to promote cooperation between the two countries, noting the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation, establishment of comprehensive consultation mechanism and a communique which outlined the outcomes of the state visit. The King further encouraged the two governments to work on establishing MoUs on trade and investment, as well as information communication and technology, which he said was a 21st century vehicle for economic development.
He also congratulated the President on being elected the seventh Zambian leader.
He said Hichilema’s acumen from previous positions and roles would propel his country to greater heights. The King said as a man of God, the Almighty would give him wisdom to lead the Zambian nation towards peace and prosperity irrespective of their gender, religion and among others.
The King also applauded the Zambian nation for the peaceful elections and transition of power and further declared Eswatini’s unwavering support as a friend and close bilateral partner.
He also observed that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which reversed several gains that the country had made in its national development programmes.
The King mentioned that the pandemic caused suffering to many and depressed the national budgets. He said it was unfortunate that the first case of the virus was confirmed after the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
He added that the country was currently engaged in a process of reviewing its national vision 2022 aspirations, which required the setting of new target dates for attaining the desired first world status for Eswatini.
He reiterated determination to provide people with access to quality services, create wealth and employment opportunities.
“The kingdom offers numerous opportunities which hold the capacity to transform the economy in agribusiness, mining, energy, tourism and ICT. We invite Zambian business people to explore these opportunities. In creating a capable workforce, concerted efforts are being made to modernise our education sector taking into consideration the benefits and the challenges that have come with the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
Moreover, His Majesty noted the increasing number of Zambian nationals who have played an integral part in different sectors.
He said the relations had further strengthened trade between the two countries, which amplified the need for the removal of barriers to encourage the free movement of people and goods in the region.
He said closer collaboration would grow both countries’ economies faster, acquire more tangible peace and security for a more conducive development climate, provide health for all, access to clean water and an affordable energy supply among other benefits.