PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has expressed worry at the political instability among some countries in the Great Lakes region and has called on the African Union (AU) to come up with a common solution to end the political turmoil in Burundi.
And President Lungu says China’s US$60 billion pledge to African countries for development will go a long way in alleviating poverty and joblessness on the continent.
President Lungu said the political instability in the region should be resolved because if left unchecked it could have a spill-over effect on neighbouring countries. He said there was need for concerted efforts among AU member states in ending political turmoil on the continent.
Speaking when special representative of the Chinese government on African Affairs Zhong Jianhua paid a courtesy call on him at State House yesterday, the President called on China to help Africa in in its push for a representation at the United Nations Security Council.
“We are asking China to help Africa put pressure to expedite Africa’s representation at UN Security Council. We believe that we can achieve more when we speak with one voice,” he said.
President Lungu said China was a true partner of development to Africa and Zambia in particular.
He said Zambia was indebted to China for its continued support especially in the area of infrastructure development which had seen the construction of new roads, schools and health centres across the country.
He observed that with the injection of US$60 billion that the Chinese government had pledged to Africa, poverty levels will reduce on the continent.
“We are looking forward to the US$60 billion pledge to help Africa in the developmental projects listed under that package and I think going forward, we would like to believe that poverty levels and joblessness among our people will significantly change for the better.
“And we are highly indebted to the Chinese government for its assistance to the African continent through the China-Africa relationship,” President Lungu said.
And Mr. Zhong said China would always support Zambia because of the critical role it was playing in fostering peace and regional integration in the Great Lakes region and its consistent stance on Africa’s representation at the UN Security Council.
He said China recognised Zambia’s strides in ensuring that it remained a beacon of peace in Africa as peace and economic development moved in tandem, adding that there could be no meaningful development in an environment devoid of political stability and peace.
He also noted that the bilateral relationship between Zambia and China was stronger, adding that his country would continue to support Zambia in fostering development.
“We recognise and appreciate Zambia’s consistent stance on maintaining peace in the region because we believe that peace and economic development go together as there can be no meaningful development without peace.
“Zambia had also been consistent on its call for a permanent representation by Africa at the UN Security Council and we will support the country’s stance on the UN Security Council representation and other representations on the UN in general,” Mr. Zhong said.