President Edgar Lungu made his address to parliament today. It was his first address to the august house as Zambian president. The speech that was delivered has been received with mixed reviews by the public. Some have said there was nothing new, while others have even gone as far as saying that it was an inspiring speech. I do not think I can call it an inspiring speech but it did have certain things I liked about it. These are the five things that I liked about the president's speech.
He made a statement about tribalism and the need for us to do away with it. He said that he embarked on a crusade to promote unity in the nation. He called on opposition and traditional leaders to help him in this cause. We all know what tribalism can do to countries that do not squash it, so it was good that he mentioned this. I would have loved though if he added a lit bit of a threat in there as well. The consequences to people caught practising tribalism.
The recognition that the internet can be used to provide an efficient service is very welcome. This can be a first step towards not only making processes faster but also reducing corruption. I hope that this will be the impetus needed for the ministries that do not have websites to start developing them.
There is some hope for people in the creative industry. Especially with the digital migration that took place this year. The president did say that through the production of television local content it could be an avenue for job creation. And I absolutely agree with him. I just hope that the necessary support will be provided to see this come into fruition.
4. Mental Health
I have always been concerned at the way mental illness is treated in Zambia. It is often something that has not taken centre stage in health debates. It has been pushed under the carpet. It is good that the president addressed it in his speech. He said there was need to promote and protect the rights of people with mental disorders. I give him a thumbs up on this.
By 2017 half of school going children in the country will have a Zedupad. This is the right kind of thinking. This should provide more children access to learning resources that is currently lacking. The challenge now is how to make this feasible.
I now hope that the bright spots that were in this speech will actually become a reality. All we can do at this moment is watch and wait.