Government has embarked on an ambitious programme of ensuring that operations in the foreign missions do not escalate to levels they cannot contain.
ZANIS reports from Gaborone that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba told journalists in an interview yesterday that government is at present working on a programme to reduce the cost of doing business in foreign missions.
In realising this goal, Mr. Kalaba said government has embarked on drafting a Cabinet Memorandum (Cab Memo) to propose the issue of Zambia’s foreign mission to acquire mortgages with countries of their residence for consideration to Cabinet Office.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs further explained that such a proposal means that the Zambian government will now embark on a programme to buy its own property in the missions.
“The cost of renting in comparison to that of obtaining mortgages is much reasonable, “observed Mr. Kalaba.
The Minister pointed that the huge amount of money spent on rentals can be channelled to other needy areas of the economy thereby making the operations of the Foreign Service effective and efficient.
He said it was necessary for Zambia to expand its foreign mission base if the country is to realise increased investments for enhanced economic development to improve the living standards of the people.
The minister narrated that he was recently in Lubumbashi, the provincial capital of Katanga in the DRC, where such a programme is under consideration.
He further said that his deputy will be visiting the Zambian mission in Zimbabwe to undertake the same programme.
Meanwhile Mr. Kalaba has disclosed that government has opened a Consular in Guangzhou, China and has advised Zambians travelling to that country to take advantage of the opportunity.
Zambians living in the diaspora have in the last years appealed to government to put in place a diaspora policy that will assist in providing a platform for their participation towards Zambia’s economic growth and development.
To this effect, government has plans through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to host a national indaba on the diaspora policy in October, this year.