Written by Henry Kyambalesa
The current problem facing the Zambian government in paying the salaries and/or allowances of employees in foreign missions on time, apparently due the lack of funds, can be addressed partly by reducing the number of the country’s foreign missions.
In this regard, the idea of having diplomatic missions in countries which meet the following suggested criteria would be a noble one: (a) the foreign country is a major trading partner; (b) there are, on average, a lot of Zambians living in the foreign country; (c) the foreign country is a major development partner (a major contributor to Zambia’s development efforts); and/or (d) the country is the headquarters of an important international organization, such as the United Nations.
Along this line of thinking, I have, in the following paragraphs, suggested the reduction of Zambian foreign missions by half from the current 29 to at most 18. The countries in parenthesis and uppercase represent the locations of Zambian missions for regions / clusters of nations.
1) THE AFRICAN UNION:
1.1 Western Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, [NIGERIA], Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
1.2 Northern Africa: Algeria, Egypt, [LIBYA], Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara.
1.3 Southern Africa: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, [SOUTH AFRICA], Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
1.4 Central Africa: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, [DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO], Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
1.5 Eastern Africa: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, [TANZANIA], and Uganda.
2) THE AMERICAS:
2.1 Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
2.2 North America: [CANADA—CIDA], Mexico and [UNITED STATES—USAID].
2.3 South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, [CHINA], Cyprus, Georgia, [INDIA], Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, [JAPAN], Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, West Bengal, and Yemen.
4) THE CARIBBEAN:
Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, [CUBA], Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Virgin Islands.
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, [GERMANY], Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, [SWEDEN—SIDA], Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, [UNITED KINGDOM—DFID], and Vatican City.
6.1 Australasia: [AUSTRALIA], Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, New Zealand, and Norfolk Island.
6.2 Melanesia: East Timor (Timor-Leste), Fiji, Maluku Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
6.3 Micronesia: Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau.
6.4 Polynesia: American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, and Western Samoa.
7) THE UN AND EU:
7.1 NEW YORK, USA: Permanent Mission to the UN.
7.2 GENEVA, Switzerland: Permanent Mission to the UN.
7.3 BRUSSELS, Belgium: European Union (EU) Headquarters.
Notes: (a) Libya: The country is chosen due to the fact that it is a potential source of oil; (b) DRC: Apart from trade, we should be able to solve potential immigration problems with DRC through the embassy—may be that is the main reason why we currently have 2 Zambian missions there—in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi; (c) Tanzania: The country provides major export / import facilities for Zambia—let us think about ZAMTAN railway line and TAZAMA, for example!; (d) South and Central American countries are to be represented by Canada and the United States under extra-accreditation; and (e) Cuba: the country has helped Zambia a lot over the years, particularly with respect to medical doctors.
Henry Kyambalesa is a retired Zambian academic currently residing in the City and County of Denver in Colorado, USA. He has pursued studies in Business Administration and Management at the University of Zambia and Oklahoma City University, Mineral Economics at Colorado School of Mines, and International Studies (including the fields of International Business, International Economics, International Relations, and International Technology Analysis and Management) at the University of Denver.
He has served as adjunct Assistant Dean and tenured lecturer in Business Administration in the School of Business at the Copperbelt University, and on the MBA Affiliate Faculty in the School for Professional Studies at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, USA. He has also served as Instructor in Economics, Marketing and Statistics at the former Zambia Institute of Technology, and as a Guest Lecturer in Supervision, Production Management and Management Development at Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation in Zambia.