Veteran diplomat Susan Sikaneta’s tenure comes to an end

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African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat says the continental body recognises Zambia’s role in fostering peace not only in SADC but the continent as a whole.

Mahamat says Zambia’s three year reign in the AU Peace and Security Council was testimony of the country’s commitment to promoting harmony on the continent.

He was speaking in Addis Ababa, when Susan Sikaneta paid a courtesy call on him to bid farewell as she winds up her assignment as Zambia’s envoy in Ethiopia.

The AUC chairperson also hailed Zambia’s contribution to Africa’s liberation struggle.

He said the history of African liberation from outside rule cannot be complete with the mention of Zambia that fought and helped in the liberation of other countries.

‘’We remember how Zambia strived to ensure that other African States gained independence , this move by then President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda was selfless,’’ Mr Mahamat said.

Mahamat also accepted President Edgar Lungu’s invitation to visit Zambia and inspect the Workshop in Mpika district that will be producing one of the components of the African Union High speed train.

‘’We commend Zambia for successfully winning the bid and I am looking forward to coming with my team to inspect the facility as we all work at attaining Agenda 2063 of the Africa we want’’, he said .

And Sikaneta thanked the AUC Chairperson and pledged Zambia’s commitment in ensuring that they support the African Union flagships programmes.

She said it is under the reign of Mr Mahamat that Zambia will for the first time host an African Union Organ, ECOSSOC since joining the African union then OAU in 1965.

And during a farewell event hosted for diplomats who are leaving Ethiopia, President of Ethiopia Dr. Sahle-Work Zewde, commended  Sikaneta for the exemplary role she played in promoting bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Zambia.

The President said Sikaneta had been instrumental in fostering the relations between the two countries. She cited the Joint Permanent Commission as one of the successes that had been scored under the leadership of Sikaneta.

President Zewde also highlighted that the partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and Zambia Airways was mainly necessitated by the work that had been carried out by Zambia’s Embassy under the able leadership of Sikaneta.

She praised the Ambassador for relentless working at ensuring that Zambia benefited from being a Member of the African Union.

Sikaneta in her remarks thanked the Ethiopian Government but expressed concern that the Government had not yet set up an embassy in Zambia despite this having been discussed during the Joint Permanent Commission in 2017 in Lusaka.

She said Zambia was anxiously waiting for the Ethiopian Government to establish an Embassy in Lusaka as was agreed by the two Presidents.

Sikaneta also said she was happy that the Ethiopia Airline /Zambia Airways cooperation was also coming into fruition.

Sikaneta who has since returned to Zambia has been replaced by Emmanuel Mwamba who was hitherto Zambia’s High Commission to South Africa.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31