Zambia stresses Strategic Communication for Success in China’s FOCAC Programmes

Zambia: The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Jack Mwiimbu, said there is a need to continue strengthening strategic communication and policy synergy to fully implement the Nine (9) programmes announced by China at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in November 2021.

Zambia stresses Strategic Communication for Success in China's FOCAC Programmes
Zambia stresses Strategic Communication for Success in China's FOCAC Programmes Image Credit: Facebook

Zambia: The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Jack Mwiimbu, said there is a need to continue strengthening strategic communication and policy synergy to fully implement the Nine (9) programmes announced by China at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in November 2021.

Speaking during a meeting with his counterpart, Wang Xiaohong, Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, on Monday, 20th November 2023, Mwiimbu recalled that at the 8th FOCAC Ministerial Conference, the President of the People’s Republic of China said he would work closely with African countries including Zambia.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security further stated that the Government of the People’s Republic of China had since provided the Zambian Government with an initial grant of RMB 100 Million (approx USD 15 million) for various projects to be agreed upon by the two countries.

Meanwhile, Mwiimbu said that Zambia was still considering the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries on mutual visa exemption of Diplomatic and Service passport holders.

“As soon as our Ministry of Justice clears the MoU, we shall engage you through diplomatic channels,” explained Mwiimbu.

Mwiimbu said that President Hakainde Hichilema attaches great importance to Zambia’s relations with China and is working towards consolidating and deepening the friendship between the two countries.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security further said that the Government of the Republic of Zambia would like to open up new areas of cooperation through capacity building and called for more cooperation in the acquisition of equipment such as communication interception tools, body scanners and sensors, digital forensic investigation equipment, mobile geo-tracking equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Speaking at the same meeting, Wang agreed with the areas of cooperation suggested by Mwiimbu, pointing out that technical officers from both sides would work on the details and that China will assist in line with its capabilities.

He further stated that the Chinese government had donated vehicles to the Zambia Police Service worth US$ 4 million and that a feasibility study was going on and these vehicles would be delivered as soon as possible.

The two Ministers tasked the Vice Minister of Public Security of the Peoples Republic of China, Xu Datong and the Permanent Secretary (Administration) of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security of the Republic of Zambia, Josephs Akafumba to ensure that the resolutions are implemented without delay.

Further, the Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China suggested that meetings should take place at the top level to facilitate interaction of senior enforcement officers on issues related to the two countries. In this regard, he extended an invitation to Zambia to attend the 2024 Global Security Forum to be held in China in September 2024.

Mwiimbu accepted the invitation and assured Minister Wang of his attendance and Zambia’s active participation.

Furthermore, Wang stated that China would send a delegation of top security officers to Zambia to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. He further stated that the two ministries would sign cooperation agreements to formalize their engagements within the context of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Public Security Minister of China commended Zambia for providing safety and security to over 10,000 Chinese citizens, over 8,000 employees and more than 800 Chinese companies in Zambia.

He added that Zambia and China jointly provide security to the Zambia-Jiangxi Multifacilty Economic Zone in Chibombo. The Government of the People’s Republic of China highly appreciated the security arrangements put in place by Zambia to protect Chinese citizens and investments in Zambia.

In his closing remarks, Wang assured the Zambian delegation that China would continue assisting in beefing-up law enforcement, capacity building and providing security equipment to Zambia.

Mr Jack Mwiimbu’s visit comes against the backdrop of President Hakainde Hichilema’s state visit to the People’s Republic of China and bilateral engagements with his counterpart, the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.