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2 giugno, Festa Nazionale della Repubblica - Discorso dell'Ambasciatore



2 giugno, Festa Nazionale della Repubblica - Discorso dell'Ambasciatore

Italian National Day speech delivered by the Italian Ambassador, Filippo Scammacca del Murgo
Hon. Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Rev. Godfridah Sumaili
Hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock, Mrs. Kampamba Mulenga
Hon. Minister of Water, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Mr. Dennis Wanchinga

Cari amici italiani,
It is the third time that my wife Martina and I, have the privilege and the pleasure to receive our guests at the Italian Day reception.
We would like to welcome all of you in our Residence that during these nearly three years has not only hosted a good number of events aimed at promoting relations between Zambia and Italy and Europe, but – we feel - has become more and more our very cosy and comfortable home in Zambia.
The Italian National day falls on the 2nd of June: this year in Lusaka we have slightly brought forward the reception in order to favour attendance. On this day 71 years ago, through a referendum, the Italians decided to transform the form of their State into a Republic.
There are different ways to celebrate this day in Zambia. I think this is a splendid occasion to remember some basic facts of our work during these last 12 months. But don’t worry! I will do my best not to be too extensive: I realise that these receptions are also moments of rejoice and that the success of an Ambassador’s speech is directly proportional to the shortness of its text. Allow me therefore to outline some few major remarks on 1. Europe, on 2. major challenges, on 3. some relevant result of the bilateral relation between Zambia and Italy and on 4. Italian civil society in Zambia.
1. Europe has been and is an indispensable framework in our relation with Zambia. I am sure that it is in the interest of Zambia to have beside her a single large partner, capable of speaking, promoting and delivering, on equality footing, as relevant as other international global partners. I would like in this perspective to thank my other European colleagues for the good work made together during the last year, which found an important achievement in our friendly but also frank discussions last April political dialogue.
2. Italy together with the EU supports Zambia in addressing its current major challenges: reaching necessary agreements between Government and opposition on fundamental reforms, a sustainable management of its public finance, an economy capable to generate enough growth and jobs in order to integrate Zambian growing population and to provide sufficient investment to strengthen human capital, respect of human right, freedom of expression, and a merciless fight to corruption. We praise Zambian commitment to enhance regional stability, the hospitality it provides to roughly 20000 refuges recently arrived from DRC. We acknowledge the commitment in gender based violence and girl pregnancy prevention and in the moratoria on capital punishment.

3. On relation between Zambia and Italy I would like to remember some major achievements in:
Agriculture we set out cooperation in the area of fruit and vegetable production and processing at private sector level taking advantages of Agritech in Chisamba and Macfrut in Rimini.
Livestock cooperation at public institution level delivered a very effective system to deal with pandemic bovine diseases and it is extending to the area of consumer protection that could bolster the Zambian export capacity of meat and milk. After this speech I will decorate with an Italian President of the Republic award a very committed civil servant of the Zambian Livestock Ministry who has actively contributed to this cooperation.
On Environment issue we have finalized a MoU which will support Zambian project preparation of bankable projects mainly in the area of adaption to climate warming.
On DRC refugee in the Italian government responded to President Lungu’s appeal for assistance with a donation of 250.000 euro through UNHCR
On health in 2 and half years more than 70 young Zambians children affected by congenital heart disease were successfully operated in the frame of the ongoing cooperation between UTH and the Italian NGO Mission Bambini. They are now working towards making hospital self-standing heart surgeries.
On Italian language we welcome the opening of a Dante Alighieri Society in Lusaka. We are moreover negotiating a cooperation with UNZA that will provide Italian as another language offered by the University. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now again supporting actively the teaching of Italian language in the Italian School in Lusaka.
For the second year we have been offering again scholarship in Italian University to young Zambian students.
On culture together with other Ambassadors we are promoting an international art festival that would trigger local artist capacity and their connection to international networks.
In 2017 the delivery of visa registered a 30 p.c. increase: this is a good indicator of a growing relation between people and companies.
Very soon the Italian electricity utility company Enel, owned by the Italian government, will start the building of a major photovoltaic plant near Lusaka.
4. My final remark is directed to the Italian civil society in Zambia, to women and men, to entrepreneurs, to priests and nuns, to the Italian religious congregations and to the wide community of NGO, as well as the over 20 young volunteers provided by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation. You are the result of a bottom up solidarity from Italy towards Zambians. We are all proud of you for the useful work you provide in the areas of human development, particularly with people affected by fragility and sustainability.
My collaborators and I have been working hard over the year. I would like to praise all of them: my Deputy (Roberto), my direct staff (Sabrina and Silvia), the Consular section (Ivano and Claudia) delivering visa for Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and more recently Latvia, the not less important the administration section (Domenico and Emanuele) and our drivers (Whiteson and Joseph).
And now, in the spirit of friendship between Zambia and Italy, I would like to invite you all to join me as we raise our glasses and toast to the continued good relations between Italy and Zambia, to the wellbeing and prosperity of the President of Zambia, H.E. Edgar C. Lungu, of yourself, Honourable Godfridah Sumaili and of all people of Zambia.