Zambia is more than that….
By Muzhinga Kankinda.
I should be speaking for the Africa, but I believe that Africa has thousands of journalists, bloggers, and freelancers willing to break the stereotypes put on their African countries. So, today, I will focus on my lovely country Zambia. While it is no secret that Zambia has been on the narrative radar for some negative topics like corruption, deforestation, and poverty, these factors are common everyone in the world and each is unique to a specific area. Nonetheless, my point is, Zambia should not be viewed in a negative light for these occurrences because Zambia is more than that.
Lately, I have been analyzing the political scene and although I am not a fan of politics, I am impressed by the calmness in the political sphere at the moment. Furthermore, I am impressed with the changes I have seen in regards to fighting corruption, and poverty. According to my analysis, I have noticed how the government is working so hard to ensure that corruption in the employment sector is vanquished. For example, nowadays, there is a strict recruitment and screening process of governmental job applicants characterized by requirements of the standard 12th grade school certificate in order to qualify to be in a certain position in parliament, and aptitudes tests to screen applicants wanting to join a government institution as employees. I have had a chance to sit for aptitudes tests with two government institution and so far, I am impressed with the process as it is characterized by impartiality and fairness.
Furthermore, I have been analyzing the environmental scene has been a wonderful journey since I love nature – it sooths my soul; and again, I must say I am proud of the changes have efforts to alleviate deforestation have made. In the last four years, the Zambia government has been working towards easing deforestation in the country, starting with the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Program which launched in 2018, with support from the World Bank at a cost of $33 million in view of improving sustainable land management, achieve diversification of livelihood option availability to rural commodities, including climate-smart agriculture and forest-based livelihoods, and reducing deforestation in the country’s Eastern Province. In USAID, in conjunction with the Zambian government awarded Tetra Tech ARD the five-year contract of ZMW 525 million ($25 million) for the company to increase the adoption of renewable energy technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Zambia. This was also a move to reduce charcoal burning, one of the major cause of deforestation in the country charcoal, and in turn alleviate deforestation by 7% in 2021. Additionally, tree planting programs have increased, and range from governmental projects to community projects where citizens have decided to lead a helping hand to reduce deforestation. Although, the problem is still relevant, changes have been noted and more anti-deforestation program are on their way as per the vision 2030.
Yet still Zambia is more than that! The country is one of the peaceful countries in the world. It is no wonder many people especially from Africa and Asia prefer to come and settle down in the country for business, and they are thriving. Zambia is also a country that welcome immigrants with open arms. It’s not about Zambia allowing exploitation, but it’s about proving the essence of humanity. Zambia is a Christian nation, and scriptures tell us to love our enemies as we love ourselves. Even if some people come into our country come in to exploit us, our Christians values will always hold. Nonetheless, justice for the citizens is always upheld as we call sin by its name. This is why those who seek to exploit the country are always put on the hot seat, facing institutions like DEC, ACC and other statutory Boards of operations.
And yet Still, Zambia is more than that! Though landlocked, Zambia is highly beautiful country. Often called, the real Africa, she boasts of a rich history of diverse cultures, dating back from the first human fossil (Broken Hill Man or Kabwe man) ever discovered in Africa, ancient cave paintings of Khoisan and San people to her surfeit landmarks, heritage sites and museums harboring great told and untold stories. With her peaceful nature, and the beauty she offers, Zambia is definitely a great destination for your holidays.
I could go on and on to showcase Zambia’s untold grandeur because there is so much people out do not know about Zambia. In fact, to others this beautiful country doesn’t exist. I know so because I have had people ask me where Zambia is in forums, and they would go on to question my competence in a certain work because of my country’s anonymity. In normal circumstances, one would be offended, but I always took the opportunity to tell them about my beautiful country and on top of that, I would work really hard to ensure I was the best, proving that Zambia also has the best of every trade. We have exceptional writers, programmers, business men and women and most all, we possess intellect and wisdom, and being African will never rob us of this innate ability.
I would love to urge journalists, bloggers and writers out there to engage more in writings that break stereotypes about your countries. Many times, we have people who are not even citizens of our countries write about us and most of these reports are not objective, balanced or fair. They depict our countries as war oriented, poverty, and corruption stricken and of course highly filled with primitive people, but the truth is we all have evolved, politically, socially, technologically and economically. We may have not reached the peak yet, but we are climbing up the mountain, step by step.
I must end here, however, I do feel there is more to tell about Zambia. So if you are Zambia and you reading this, feel free to share your experiences on the comments’ section down below because Zambia is more than what people mostly think about her. She is like a lotus flower, growing in the mud to become the most beautiful flower among others. Let’s start challenging stereotypes with the hashtag #Zambiaismorethanthat
…..and of course don’t forget to share this article! Enjoy your weekend and stay safe, my lovelies!!