Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Zambian Ambassador to U.S. Presents Letters of Credence to President Obama
The new Zambian Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Palan Mulonda presented his Letters of Credence to President Obama at a ceremony at the White House on Monday January 14, 2013.
The presentation of credentials is a traditional ceremony that marks the formal beginning of an Ambassador’s service in Washington, DC.
Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighboring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of the country. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest.
Originally inhabited by Khoisan peoples, the region which comprises modern Zambia was colonized during the Bantu expansion of the thirteenth century. After visits by European explorers in the eighteenth century, Zambia became the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century. For most of the colonial period, the country was governed by an administration appointed from London with the advice of the British South Africa Company.
On October 24, 1964, the country gained independence from the United Kingdom.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Zambia in 1964, following its independence from the United Kingdom. Zambia saw single-party rule from independence until 1973, when it formally became a one-party state. In 1991, elections replaced the country’s 27-year president as Zambia began adopting multi-party democracy and a more liberalized economy. Zambia’s economic growth has not benefited many rural Zambians who continue to live in poverty. The Zambian Government is pursuing an economic diversification program to reduce the economy’s reliance on the copper industry. The country’s challenge is to promote broad-based economic growth, create employment, and develop its human capital.
The United States and Zambia enjoy cordial relations. U.S. goals in Zambia include reducing widespread poverty and building and sustaining a democratic, well-governed country that contributes positively to regional stability. The United States works closely with the Zambian Government to defeat the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is widespread but stabilizing in Zambia, to promote economic growth and development, and to bring about political reform by promoting democratic principles and responsible government. The United States is also supporting the government’s efforts to root out corruption.