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Saturday, 26 July 2008

Another opportunity for progress ?

Wise words from outgoing US Ambassador Carmen Martinez on the current political uncertainty over the President's health that has gripped the nation :

"I know many of you here feel that you are in a very difficult and perhaps a crisis period, but I don't think people should look at it as a crisis. I think you should look at it with pride and confidence that your nation that came from colonialism has moved into independence, multi-party democracy and you conducted four elections peacefully. You have a peaceful and stable country and I just hope that the Zambian people will be more confident of their own ability to weather any crisis that may come along..."
As I noted here, there's no doubt that ordinary Zambians' trust in government has been shaken due to the poor nature of the updates and general lack of transparency. However, it is also equally true to that the President's illness presents a remarkable opportunity for Zambia to further renewal itself and continue to send strong message to the outside world and investors at large. A stable and calm handling of the situation, as has been so far, continues to send a strong message to the outside world that our political and economic institutions are stable and resilient. The ability to handle shocks to the system always sends that strong message to investors, that all is well. In the words of Murray Sanderson "...economic development depends on much more than natural resources, money and technical skills. Far more important are certain intangible factors, such as trust, the rule of law, respect for property rights, and a reputation for dependability". If Zambia can continue to demonstrate these things over this uncertain period, we stand well for the future.

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