Zambia has joined the list of countries across the globe in endorsing the candidature of International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde for a second term of office. In supporting the candidature, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda said that Zambia is strongly in support of Ms Lagarde’s candidature for a second term as head of the IMF. Ms Lagarde has demonstrated professionalism and provided quality leadership and direction in tackling various policy issues at the IMF.
However, going forward, Zambia should also support Ms Lagarde as a rider to see its own citizens hold top jobs in such influential international organisations. The country should not only end at supporting a candidature of another country but ensure that Zambian nationals proudly take the seat of such globally-recognised organisations. Zambia has a good number of learned people who would well address the various issues at international level. What is required is for such individuals to be identified and given the necessary support.
Those identified should cut across political divide. What should be cardinal is whether or not the candidate meets the necessary credentials to be floated as candidate. For instance in 2013, Zambia floated former Minister of Trade and Commerce Felix Mutati as the next secretary general of the Geneva-based UN conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Then head of State, President Sata urged countries that attended the Boao Forum for Africa summit held on the coastal island of Boao south of the Chinese capital Beijing to support the candidature of Mr Mutati who is also MMD Lunte Member of Parliament. It was the first time in 50 years that Zambia was applying for the prestigious UNCTAD position.
During Dr Mwanawasa’s tenure of office, Zambia bid for the African union position of chairperson where Dr Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika’s name was floated. Dr Lewanika who has served as Zambia‘s ambassador to the United States has vast experience and is a staunch advocate of the AU and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) ideals. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region was also behind the Zambian candidate with Swaziland having withdrawn its aspirant for the same post and declaring its support for Dr Lewanika.
Undoubtly, there are several Zambians out there who meet similar credentials as that of Dr Mukhisa and Dr Dlamini-Zuma. What is important is for those bestowed with the responsibility to lobby for such positions to up their game and ensure Zambia has a seat on such important and influential organisations.