Hon. Joseph Malanji, M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, has received on behalf of His Excellency the President, assorted medical supplies donated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, to assist Zambia in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the handover ceremony, which took place at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka on Thursday 18th June, 2020, Hon. Malanji was accompanied by Ambassador Chalwe Lombe, Permanent Secretary for International Relations and Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Kakulubelwa Mulalelo, Permanent Secretary for Administration in the Ministry of Health and other senior Government officials.
During the ceremony, Hon. Malanji conveyed sincere gratitude from His Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, to His Majesty King Mohammed VI for the generous donation which signifies yet another hallmark in the relations between the two countries.
Hon. Malanji noted that Covid-19 is a challenge but at the same time presents an opportunity for countries to work together while sharing expertise, technologies, innovations, indigenous knowledge and other resources to mitigate its negative effects.
“The Zambian Government remains committed to ensuring that people are safe and protected whilst continuing to be productive in line with the public health guidance and embracing the new normal,” he said. “Considering that the Kingdom is also affected by the pandemic, we are truly grateful for this selfless act of friendship that will complement the efforts of the Zambian Government and other well wishers in this fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Minister noted the strong ties between the two countries which were given impetus by the State Visit in February 2017 by His Majesty the King, during which fruitful discussions were held with His Excellency President Lungu.
He stated that during the King’s visit, 19 Agreements were signed in areas of general cooperation, diplomatic consultations, economy, science and technology, culture, investment, industrial cooperation, agriculture, education, mining, air services, energy, insurance, finance and tourism.
Hon. Malanji added that, following the State Visit, an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement was signed, thus enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries.
Hon. Malanji also acknowledged the support from the Kingdom of Morocco through training of Zambian students under the Moroccan Government Scholarship Scheme in areas such as health, economy and management, engineering, agronomy and veterinary sciences, architecture, computer science and geology. There are currently over 500 Zambian students studying in Morocco.
The Minister reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to enhanced relations and cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
And Director of the United Nations and International Organisations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Mr. Redouane Houssaini informed Hon. Malanji that King Mohammed VI has always stood with African countries within the spirit of solidarity and strengthening South to South cooperation, holding the firm belief that the continent has the capability address its challenges.
Mr. Houssaini noted that the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19 could only be addressed if “resources are mobilised, synergies created and capabilities mutualised”.
He stated that the Royal initiative for creating an operational framework to work with African countries on, among other issues, Covid-19 is yet another iteration of the King’s vision.
“Emanating from an unprecedented national effort, this donation is thus a symbol of longstanding close friendship between Morocco and Zambia. This donation of medicine and personal protective equipment also stems from longstanding friendship between His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Excellency President Lungu,” he said. “I wish to express appreciation for the way the Covid-19 crisis has been managed.”
Mr. Houssaini noted that Morocco values Zambia’s support in working together on different issues for the mutual benefit of people in the two countries.
He said the gesture from His Majesty the King signified the beginning of strengthening of relations in different areas between Morocco and Zambia.
Mr. Houssaini reaffirmed Morocco’s commitment to stand with Africa and Zambia in particular, adding that his country had lessons and best practices to share.
The Zambia-Morocco Friendship Association, chaired by Former First Lady Dr. Maureen Mwanawasa, and Zambian youths who graduated from Morocco under the Government Scholarship Scheme also witnessed the event.
The donated items, all manufactured in Morocco, include 500,000 face masks, 60,000 visors, 40,000 chariottes, 4,000 blouses, 2,000 litres of hydro-alcoholic gels and sanitizers, 5,000 boxes of chloroquine, and 1,000 boxes of AAzithromycin.
Ministry of Foreign affairs
Public Relations Unit