TRIBALISM must have no place in Zambia because the vice has the potential to negate the country’s economic, social and political advancement, Margaret Mwanakatwe has said.
And Mrs Mwanakatwe who is Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister the younger generation is the pillar of the country’s economic expansion and there is need to invest in young people through education and skills training.
Speaking when she officiated at the prize giving ceremony of the Daily Nation Essay Competition on Friday evening, Mrs. Mwanakatwe said tribalism was an enemy of national development because it was a danger to the country’s peace, unity and political stability.
The theme of the Essay competition was: “ How does tribalism affect national development?”
Mrs Mwanakatwe said inter-marriages was one of the best means of curbing tribalism and that Zambia had for many remained a united and peaceful country despite being a country of several ethnic groupings.
“Tribalism is a cancer that can spread like wild fire if left unchecked and derail the socio-economic gains that the country has made. It must be discouraged by all well-meaning Zambians,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said. She said education was an equaliser and a force of change that could easily defeat poverty and make every Zambian find real meaning of life. She appealed to parents and guardians to ensure a girl child was given equal attention in terms of education because for a long time, preference had been given to a boy child.
Prisca Banda from Roma Girls Secondary School emerged the overall winner of the Essay competition under Secondary schools category while Chali Andrew from Lusaka Apex Medical University emerged as the overall winner under Tertiary Institutions category and Mrs Mwanakatwe encouraged the young people to develop a culture of reading and researching which she said was dying in Zambia.
And speaking at the same event Education Minister Dr. John Phiri said government was in the process of restructuring the school curriculum to accommodate skills training.
Dr. Phiri observed that an educated society was a socially and economically empowered society which acts as a cornerstone to development. In a speech read on his behalf by director for Open and Distance Education Bridget Moya, Dr. Phiri appealed to stakeholders to ensure leaners were encouraged to complete school as the statistics for pupils who completed were low, standing 28 percent for girls and 34 percent boys.
Meanwhile Daily Nation executive director Patricia Chibiliti said the newspaper decided to come up with essay competition after realizing what transpired after the January 20 presidential elections.
Ms. Chibiliti said it was important for young people to know the dangers of tribalism on national development because the vice was eroding at the moral fibre of the country.
Great North Road Academy chief executive officer Rozious Siatwambo encouraged the pupils take interest in writing and reading.