The Creation vs Evolution debate briefly outlined. Which side are you on?

Published January 15, 2013 by betterzambia

Which side are you on? Are you for Creation or Evolution?

The Creation vs. Evolution debate is an ongoing dispute most prevalent in regions of the United States. It concerns the question of how man, as well as animals and plants, came to exist in their present form; whether they were created as they currently are by the intelligent design of a Creator, or they evolved though natural selection from primitive lifeforms. Believers in Evolutionism usually support other atheist theories concerning the origin of the universe, Earth, and life.

Which side are you on? Well, lets hear what you have to say after reading this from a Christian perspective.

Creation, according to the Bible, is the act of God that brought the universe and all living beings into existence. According to Genesis 1:26-28, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Those are the words of our beginning, our first knowledge of ourselves. What that shows us is that in creation, we are shown likeliness with God, a certain dignity specially related to God. But the dignity of mankind has been compromised

Evolution, on the other hand, is a theoretical process of development by which all species develop from earlier forms of life. According to this theory, natural variations in the genetic material of a population favours reproduction by some individuals more than others, so that over the generations all members of the population come to possess the favourable traits. It was Charles Darwin (1809-1882), a British scholar who revolutionized biology when he identified the process termed evolution (a process by which new species are created through the survival of the fittest).

What can be observed is that Darwinian theory washed away Biblical anthropology. In Darwin theory, we do not look to God for our likeliness, we look to animals. That can also means we are not lower than God’s angels but that we are higher than monkeys. That’s where the devils first shows is hand in God’s plans.

When applying Darwin’s theory on sexuality, men are prone to multiple sex partners because of the impulse to survive. The survival of the fittest instinct drives a man to have sex with as many women as possible to increase his chances of propelling his seed into the next generation. My friends, God created us (you and I) as humans to rule all animals not to think/act like animals.

Science through Darwianin theory reduces us to animals. It is Satan’s determined purpose to seperate us from our Creator in any way possible when he promotes the notion that we are not specially related to God. While it is still a theory, it is treated like proven fact. Evolution infiltrates in all fratenities of Western culture not just in Biology. We see it also in Archaeology, Physics, Sociology, Psychology and even Theology. In fact, all the world’s cultures.

Do you also agree that we are like animals, subject to our impulses and cannot control ourselves? Hell no, that’s not what God says in Genesis 1:26-28. Man should provide direction to all animals and he himself is not one of the animals.

Dear brethren, God created us from the dust of the soil. He didn’t just call and man stood up. He created him and breath through his nostrils. That is not said of any other creature on earth.

But Charles Darwin strives to explain human nature as an extension from animal kingdom: the last link from evolutionary chain but a little higher than animals, and more developed: a step up from horses ect. People lets wake up. Satan is at work even in our education system.

Which side are you on? Creation or Evolution?

The world is changing so fast in the 21st century. A lot of divorces, multiple partners resulting in failed marriages etc.. Non of the social scientists want to find a plausible explanations for that, tracing it back to its roots. Why? Where did we take the one-man-one-woman notion our forefathers handed down to us? Nowadays, there are sex chains that can even make a long railway. Men just act, women feel the impact.

References
KJV Bible (mobile app can be downloaded from http://wap.jolon.org/
Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species

Written by Josiah Phiri

Too many gods in Zambia

Published December 22, 2012 by betterzambia

This is one [long] article that is certainly going to evoke a reaction, either remorse and absolute disgust or else realization and shame. Either way, it will evoke some very deep thinking! It did for me!
 
The following is a personal account of Daniel Goldstein in a Sub-Saharan African Nation.
 
As a young man I heard of many accounts of my grandparents’ experiences in Eastern Europe before the onset of the Second World War. As a Jewish couple from Poland , they were faced with imminent death as Hitler’s hate campaign against my people resonated and spread like a wild fire through the continent. Their experiences shaped the person I am and the deep values I have with regards to my community and justice in general. I am especially inspired by Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate. I was nearly brought to tears when I heard him speak at the University of Miami during my senior year. The words “the opposite of love is not hate but indifference” that he uttered, pushed me into seeking my purpose as a human being and galvanised me into being the embodiment of his philosophy of compassion and love.
 
My first inclination was to learn more about the land of Israel and its plight. Even though I am a born citizen of the United States of America , Israel is the land that I have unequivocal love for. The Jewish people have historically been demonised but always found a way to adapt and thrive in any given society and prosper in numerous professions. As I delved deeper into the history of my people I firmly concluded that we undoubtedly deserve the sacred holy land of Israel . Its right to exist is paramount in my heart but looking back at Elie Wiesel’s words I couldn’t help but also try to understand the plight of the Palestinians. It is a conflict wrought with unimaginable complexity that I sometimes wonder if the allocation of that particular land was the major problem. This is not to say that Israel should not be, quite the contrary it should, but the question is should we have been located in perhaps another part of the world? As I thoroughly perused the history books I am yet to come across this thought. The beginning of the journey towards my conclusion to this query came through one fateful evening at a fraternity party.
 
While trying to cram for my western legal traditions exam that was scheduled in the next two days, my dorm mate Joey stormed in with his characteristic enthusiasm. His excitement about a frat party was so infectious that I couldn’t help but oblige. I ditched the books and joined him in the hope that I can unload some stress as well as partake in some college debauchery. We got into the loud and humid party room packed with gyrating girls and heavily intoxicated guys. As Joey went for the keg of beer I retreated to the upstairs balcony where there was relative peace. I was relived to see a buddy of mine Chris, he appeared to be in a heated discussion with an African-American girl. As we made our salutations I came to know that the girl was actually an international student from Africa . As Chris temporarily vacated the scene my curiosity got the best of me so I inquired what their discussion was about. It turns out they were in an African history class and they had differed on an issue regarding how colonialism negatively impacted the psyche of the African. Controversial as usual, Chris alluded to the notion to Africans need to get over their former subjugation and move forward. Her point was that it still doesn’t reverse the negative effects because they still resonate in modern day Africa . I was so intrigued that I just had to hear more. Chris’s departure served as a blessing because not only was I enchanted by the conversation, I was smitten by the beauty of this girl. I was fortunate to get her details and in a matter of months we began dating.
 
Africa became my new passion and I decided to focus on understanding more about the continent that many of my peers thought was a country. I began to participate in activities with the Africa association and helped organise discussion forums about the continent’s issues. I just loved the tumultuous nature of understanding Africa and how it can horrify then endear me in one moment. Margaret and I found true solace in one another and it wasn’t long before I asked to go to visit with her home in the sub-Saharan country of Zambia . In a few short months we were on our way and I was extremely ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to apply some of the knowledge I had accumulated on development and sustainability. I was banking on working in conjunction with USAID or any relevant NGO. All I had was 3 months to spare before I headed back to the United States .
 
Upon arrival in Lusaka , the capital of Zambia , my heart skipped multiple beats as I disembarked from the aircraft and was welcomed by the most spectacular sunshine I had ever seen. I walked through the hallways of the airport terminal feeling the warm embrace of the smiles that adorned each Zambian’s face. My grandmother had mild tendencies of prejudice towards blacks but here I was in a country they own and welcomed with open arms. From the moment I stepped onto the runway all the way to the taxi that took Margaret and I to the guest house where we were staying, each and every person went out of their way to serve me with the brightest of smiles. They did it as though it was their honor and duty. The guest house was simple yet cosy and the staff made me feel a little uncomfortable after sometime. All they would do was stand around and stare at me in amazement even though they had others to serve. Margaret’s parents lived in the countryside region of Chipata so we opted to be in the capital for a while and scheduled a visit to that area in a couple of weeks.
 
Jetlag did not overwhelm me, I was ready to tour this beautiful city and meet its people. I wanted to do everything that Zambians did on a daily basis and not act like some bewildered white tourist. We took a walk down to a local township called Kaunda square. It was an environment filled with life and activity with shoeless children running around and local Zambian tunes blaring out of buses and bars. The area was named after their first president Kenneth Kaunda, their version of George Washington though he is live and well today. A clear indication of how young the country is. As we sat in an outdoor restaurant, I couldn’t help but be conscious of my every move as I was the only white person within a 10 kilometre radius. My first meal will never be forgotten, it was a balanced nutritional arrangement that was a genuine blessing to my taste buds. The starchy component was a white pulp made from crushed corn with mashed up vegetable that was mixed with peanuts. The chicken was unlike anything I had ever tasted, it was extremely lean with tough muscle fibres due to the fact that there, chickens roam freely and not caged like back in America . There was a growing audience around to witness this foreigner partaking in some traditional cuisine. It amazed me how amused they were. It was almost like I had validated their essence. I felt as though they had mistaken me for some Hollywood actor but that was not the case. It was immediately apparent that the people of this country have a great affinity for people of my complexion. Its amazing considering the colonial history, I would have assumed that we be treated with some form of angst or suspicion. This was a huge break of reality compared to their Black American counterparts.
 
As a child I had a very low self-esteem. I was bullied for being a socially awkward book worm.. Never in a million years did I think that my very essence as a white man would be the cause of excessive adoration. Had I grown up in Zambia , those unfortunate circumstances that plagued my childhood would surely not exist. Opportunities were opening up left right and centre. I was in Zambia for just over a week and I was loving every moment of it. My girlfriend was getting a little bit agitated because of the blatant seductive advances that were coming my way. I was never in the least bit considered an attractive fellow growing up in my home town of Rochester , New York but in Zambia I was irresistible. At this point the glee that each day brought drew me to the conclusion that I should move to Zambia permanently. I had began to develop quite a network of friends who worked with NGOs as well as government institutions so I was confident that I could be of value in the areas of development. Unfortunately I had not yet completed my studies as I only had a semester to go. Without any specific qualifications I was being courted by quite a few aid agencies which would again be unheard of back in the States. I slowly began to see numerous realities that are rather uncomfortable to describe happening in Zambia .
 
One undeniable truth is that someone like myself, a foreigner was valued more than any Zambian. It was as if what I am made me inherently superior, intelligent, knowledgeable and rich. I could literally do anything I pleased without serious retribution. If I was involved in a fight for instance with a black Zambian in which I instigated, it is quite likely that the police would immediately assume my innocence and batter the other poor fellow before realising the truth. It was becoming ridiculous, I was no longer waiting in line because Zambians would gladly give up their spot for me. Foreign dignitaries probably have much more power than the Zambian government itself in the sovereign republic of Zambia . The attention paid to the words of a foreign official is paramount. The heads of every large corporation are white men including the company that produces the staple traditional Zambian meal that I mentioned earlier. I went to Zambia expecting to be an equal and assist in develop and put to good use what I learned from Elie Wiesel but instead I was frustrated by a bunch of bumbling idiots who assumed I am better than them. I painfully caught myself thinking that perhaps their assumptions were true. It was also getting clear that Zambia has two worlds in it. One is where the blacks go about their daily business leading lives of mediocrity and disgruntlement. Another is a secret society of foreigners who live like gods, networking with another, toasting champagne and driving big business. Many of the government officials are in the pockets of the latter group. They are unaffected by any policy or regulation. Their access to gigantic contracts, land and business opportunities is a capitalist’s wet dream. The ease in which they lead their lives would compel any person in the world who is not of African descent to move to Zambia . To be a member of this untouchable elite one just needs to be anything but black.. What is even more interesting is that people of mixed race origin also fit into this group as they seek to distance themselves from the African blood that flows in their veins to be closer to the European side as it brings societal privileges. Someone like our former secretary of state Colin Powell or the illustrious Senator from Illinois Barack Obama who we consider black would be characterised as “coloured” and the addition of non black blood would elevate their status in Zambia . My ultra Afro centric room mate Joey would be so confused by this reality. He is black in America but would be “coloured” in Zambia .. Another aspect of Zambian society that is unsettling is that there is a natural and comfortable segregation of the two worlds I describe. It doesn’t cease to amaze me how awkward the interaction between black Zambians and foreigners is. They become so jittery and nervous that we cannot relate to one another naturally. They humble themselves to a point that they cannot genuinely articulate themselves. If I were ever to imagine a situation in which the human race were before the lord, that is exactly how we would all behave before the deity. In America I was a nobody, in Zambia is regret to say, I am a god.
 
The circumstances I describe also produce what I consider the saddest account of the absence of human dignity. I had taken sometime to also observe how the other world of Zambians live, the indigenous ones. I spoke of how nice and accommodating they were with me. I immediately assumed that they were the same with each other. I was very wrong, it is quite the opposite. They have a complex love/hate relationship with one another. Nothing pleases a Zambian more than to see another in unfortunate circumstances. They are fun loving people who pleasantly confide in one another but when the rubber hits the road they tend pull each other back like crabs in a bucket. I love the company of indigenous Zambians, they have unmatched enthusiasm. Unfortunately I find that their qualities end there. The amount of time spent consuming alcohol and loudly making uneducated political commentary is rather excessive. The aids pandemic is sped by their tendencies to ravenously engage in sex with multiple partners regardless of marital status. These valueless behaviours are really the norm. I must say that I was pleasantly refreshed when I met a young military officer through a friend of my girlfriend. He is so progressive in his thinking and had a remarkable story. Raised in a village he worked his way through high school and joined the air force of Zambia . He became my closest friend in the country and I always anticipated Friday afternoons when we exchanged thoughts over a “Mosi” (a local beer named after Zambia ’s leading tourist attraction). Like many Zambians he was very disgruntled but also spoke of positive solutions that made sense to me. He was a quiet confident guy who was deeply religious. He inspired me in so many ways. One afternoon we were relaxing at an Irish pub (yes they do exist in Africa too) on a patio at one of Lusaka ’s popular shopping complexes when a brand new BMW drove by. Chanda, a guy we were with annoyingly said, “there goes another thief!” I inquired if Chanda knew the guy but he had no clue who he was. Puzzled, I asked why he thought the BMW driver was a thief. Kelvin, my officer friend interjected by saying it’s an unfortunately mentality Zambians have. It is thought that no indigenous Zambian has the right nor the ability to accumulate wealth and enjoy the trappings of hard work. I observed that many other fancy vehicles had passed by driven by Zambians of Asian and Arabic origin but it didn’t seem to matter until they saw a black guy driving one. If Americans thought like this, we would not be the most powerful nation on earth. Another strange reaction to blacks with a degree of success in Zambia is the assumption that he or she is rich because of being part of a satanic cult. These people have an incredibly low self-esteem to actually believe that it is inconceivable for a black to be successful through the fruits of hard work and ingenuity. I would cry myself to sleep everyday if a day came when Americans or Israelis thought like this about one another.. If that occurred, Israel would no longer exist and America would be relived of its hegemony.
 
The inherent self-hated I have witnessed among Zambians not only allows for them to be dominated by foreigners but I stunts the growth of their country. One example of how I think this detrimental mentality is killing the country is how it is being applied on a government level. The president of Zambia had instituted a fight against corruption. It seems noble but also damaging to the fabric of their nation. The way I see it, this fight is fanning flames of hatred. It is apparent in the newspapers and the way people simply react to it. It is like the medieval days when people who were accused of a certain crime were hung in front of a cheering crowd. The leaders during those times were cunning because they knew they could confuse the economically underprivileged and disenfranchised by blaming their woes on the few that they could sacrifice. This served as a catharsis for the people’s pain to see people hang as well as a way to get rid of the enemies of high ranking officials while making the people assume the leaders are solving the kingdom’s ills. Where did this take them? Nowhere. In time people grew to find out that it was pure nonsense and progressed to create what we now know as highly industrialised democratic western nations. To be clear, I am not against people fighting corruption, it is actually the way it has been orchestrated in the Zambian context. The main targets are the former president and all his high ranking officials. Imagine a broken down bus struggling to move along a highway with a driver and passengers in it. The driver then disembarks and hands over the bus to another driver. The new bus driver decides that he is going to send the previous driver and all his passengers to jail because the bus is broken. That is the best analogy I have for the Zambian government, blame is passed around when what really should be fixed is the system and not the people. If each and everyone in the previous government is accused then there is definitely something wrong with the way things are done generally. It is not driven by the need to develop a country but rather by the malicious nature of Zambians.
 
Kelvin is an ambitious officer who dreams of someday becoming a General. His heart is broken because one of his favourite Generals is on trial for what he describes as allegations that don’t make any sense. He spoke of how that particular General improved many aspects of the air force and helped Kelvin and his colleagues enrol in advanced education programs to advance their careers, adding value to the military. In fact every single military leader from the previous regime is on trial too! What is disconcerting is that they arrested the former chief of Zambia ’s version of the CIA who I hear has now fled the country. This is probably a guy who knows every little secret about the impoverished nation. Does this mean he is going to have to explain in court how the government goes about its secret business for the world to hear? This would never happen in Israel or the United states . I don’t know about the rest of the international community but think this is really hilarious how unpatriotic that is. Zambia is probably destined for doom. In my opinion they don’t have good alternatives either. The main political opposition is advocating xenophobia. They want all the Chinese and Indians out of the country creating another potential Zimbabwe . I’m assuming that when the current president leaves office, it would only be natural that he be arrested based on the precedent set.
 
I found that as much as I enjoyed being in Zambia , I had fallen out of love with it after 3 months and couldn’t wait to get back to the states. The principles instilled in me by Elie Wiesel cannot be applied there. I had read that Winston Churchill once said that the young are liberal and think they can change the world but as one gets older they realise the reality of life and become conservative. Unfortunately, the cultural differences between Margaret and I were unsustainable and lead to our eventual break-up but I’ll always treasure her as a great friend.
 
I had come to a conclusion that is rather uncomfortable to make. I truly believe that modern day Zambia should have been the location for the Jewish homeland of Israel . The British should have handed over North Rhodesia (what Zambia was called during colonialism) to the Jews. There would have absolutely been no conflict at all. The mentality of Zambians would have enabled my people to live peacefully without any threats whatsoever. Zambians are prideless and accommodating people who would have bent over backwards for us. I also believe that it is not free to this day. It would have been a strategic tool for Israel to utilise for its central location in Africa as well as its resources that are still being exploited by outsiders. The divisiveness that exists in the country makes them easy to control. The Palestinians would have had their home peacefully as well and the world would very much be a different place. There is no doubt that a country willing to risk its sovereignty and security for political gain and maliciousness can even be annexed today. My words are not based on prejudice or racism but on fact and experience. These words can be sung even louder by Zambians themselves. I have no doubt that many of them will agree with these sentiments. Africa is the dumping site and lab rat of the west, this is no wonder we are gods there. I have failed in my commitment to live without indifference. Other uncomfortable thoughts come to mind why we did not come to the aid of the Rwandans. I feel that I can now sleep worry-free knowing that people are responsible for themselves and I have no obligation to help anyone. Reality has made its own conclusion. Perhaps my purpose lies in something else.
 
Wow! What do you say to this?

Special thanks to Martin Malyo and University of Miami Blogger

Advantages and disadvantages of rebasing the currency

Published December 20, 2012 by betterzambia

“Knowledge is power” -Francis Bacon

That is why I want to be one of the first to add to the body of knowledge over the announcement a few hours ago by the government that it would “rebase the Zambian [currency the] Kwacha by dividing the current notes by 1000”. This will effectively make a K5000 equal K5; a K10,000 will be K10 and so on.

The unsurprising question on most Zambian’s minds will be; what does that mean for me? Let us now explore some of the pros and cons of effecting such a decision. To begin with, the implications of the move need to be established.

This move is in effect a REVALUATION (opposite of devaluation) of the kwacha. Its value with respect to other currencies is being increased. The United States dollar will be taken as an example because of its universal use. Before effecting such a decision, about K5000 = $1. However, after implementation of the revaluation about K5 will be needed to obtain$1.

This has a number of implications from the Zambian perspective. To start with, it makes the Zambian Kwacha more expensive relative to other currencies. In the case of the dollar, Zambians would now get more dollars for fewer Kwachas. All else being equal, it also makes Zambian exports more expensive. Taking airtime as an example, currently there are K5000 airtime scratch cards in Zambia. If a solely Zambian company produces and sells these to the U.S, they get approximately $1 for every K5000 card. However, if the Kwacha is now rebased to K5 for every $1, the airtime selling company would now have to get $1000 for K5000 worth of talk time to an American consumer. Hence the conclusion, exports from Zambia will be more expensive to foreign markets (all else being equal). On the other hand, if a U.S producer of airtime currently sells to Zambia, they get approximately $1 for every K5000 of airtime produced. This is assuming the current approximate rate of K5000 per U.S dollar. If this rate suddenly changes to$1=K5, the Zambian importer would get $1 worthof U.S airtime for only K5.

Presuming the Zambian’s earnings and all else remain equal, Zambian imports are now cheaper by K4,995. If you are Zambian, do not be excited yet because everything becomes messed up when that ‘all else being equal’ is lifted. For instance, if your salary is K5million before the change, you would expect your employers to ‘rebase’ it to K5000 as well-effectively meaning no real change for you.
In summary, the implications of ‘knocking off’ the zeroes from the kwacha are mainly threefold:

(1) The kwacha becomes more expensive relative to other currencies. (2) Exports from Zambia become more expensive in international markets. (3) Imports from other countries into Zambia become cheaper.

As has been established from the preceding paragraphs, these three only hold true if all other factors are held constant.

Implications aside! What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of such a move.

ADVANTAGES:
Stolen money
There has been public outcry of recent that some people have stolen and hidden away huge amounts of cash. Many people are of the view that introducing new notes based on the ‘rebased’ currency would force those people to try and bring that money back into circulation.

Imports become cheaper
Zambia’s balance of trade has a leaning towards imports. For Zambians a revaluation of the currency would be a chance to import more goods. This may however be argued to be economically wrong in the long run.

Investor confidence
It may also be argued that the psychological ‘increase’ in value of the Kwacha creates an impression to citizens and investors that the Kwacha is a strong currency. Coupled with the relatively stable political and economic environment, such impressions raise investor confidence.

Simplification of statistics
There is no doubt that statistical and accounting/finance calculations may be made easier with lesser zeros on the currency.

DISADVANTAGES
Printing costs
The most obvious cost and disadvantage of this on the Zambian people will be the cost of reprinting the new notes. This is likely to be exacerbated by recent situations where people cry foul over those in governance not following tender procedures in the allocation of public contracts and hence not doing things in the public’s best interest.

Mindset change/pricing
Another foreseeable problem is possibility of failure to change the mindset of the Zambian public. The biggest hurdle here will most likely be teaching the common man how not to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous traders.

Competitiveness of exports
As discussed above, revaluing a currency increases the cost of local products relative to foreign ones. This makes locally produced goods less competitive on the international scene and may suffocate local industries.

Despite all these advantages and disadvantages, various factors influence Zambia and its interactions with the foreign markets. A better analysis of will be possible with the benefit of hindsight. For now, Zambia can only look to China which has re-valued its currency the Renminbi (Yuan) before.

A RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT’s INITIATIVE TO REVALUE THE KWACHA
There is nothing new in government’s initiative to re-denominate the Zambian currency. Ghana managed to revalue its currency a few years ago and there have been some tangible benefits that have been felt as a result of this like greater confidence in the economy and increased local and foreign investment. This is because of the sense of stability that currency revaluation brings with it and the sense of discipline that it can help to communicate about the government’s economic plans.

The problem with the revaluation in Zambia, however, is that the underlying causes of the current economic instability (fluctuating kwacha and no jobs for the majority of employment seekers) have not been addressed. There is no substitute for the need to address the underlying causes of inflation and lack of more broad-based development.

Revaluing currency without addressing the fundamental things that are wrong with our economic planning (poor taxation of mining industry, lack of jobs, lack of rural development, erratic decision-making, lack of long-term planning on excessive government expenditure, hasty and costly decisions on appointments, lack of adequate investment in training and developing Zambians) will only make the exercise less effective than it can be.

It is important to note that this is in fact re-denomination and not revaluation. There is a big difference. Government is not saying that the kwacha is now worth more than before (although that is how it might appear). What they are saying is that everyone will now have to get used to using less numbers when they add up their bills or get their pay-check or borrow money or pay tax. The main benefits are psychological and can help to keep a check on inflation and increase faith in a particular currency.

In order to work properly, government must provide a full explanation of how this revaluation (i.e. redenomination) will be conducted. When will the revaluation come into effect. This is a major undertaking and will affect many people, particularly those that do not have access to regular media in rural communities so a major exercise will have to be undertaken.

In the past, a similar exercise – the changing of Zambia’s paper money – was able to help in getting those that had hoarded money to bring it into the banking system. Many of those that had buried kwacha away were forced to bring it out and it gave an opportunity for the authorities (particularly the taxman) to ask the relevant questions about how the income had been earned. This time, that effect will not be so easy to bring about because the kwacha can be easily traded for US dollars. Because of this, we are likely to see at least one drawback to this otherwise useful idea of currency revaluation – a rise in the value of the dollar as people scrambleto convert their billions stashed away in their homes and other hiding places. The demand for dollar could weaken the kwacha so Bank of Zambia would have to weigh in to mitigate any prospect of this outcome.

In summary, the move can be very positive if it is handled well and not simply by making an announcement. Care should be taken to ensure that it does not cause an unnecessary loss of value of the kwacha (as people scramble to change their hidden kwacha into dollars before the deadline).

Further, we need to put in place measures to address the fundamental problems of our economy which revaluing currency will not necessarily address. Revaluation alone will not put more money in people’s pockets but could even have the effect of taking out whatever little money might have been there if not handled properly.

Written by Unza Narep

Admin

Why men are not eager to get married today

Published December 20, 2012 by betterzambia

Recently I came to the conclusion that a lot of our men are no longer eager to get married. I believe they have their reasons and like most of them say, they never have enough money for the wedding day and maybe afterwards.

That makes me realize that we may not have prepared our men enough for marriage, to help them understand what measure of blessings are poured down on the man who chooses to take the bull by the horn and trust God enough to go into this institution that has been ordained by God himself.

I am yet to see anyone who consulted God before getting married, and didn’t pull through despite all the lessons that we learn on the way which gives us room to grow up.

I can understand some of the reasons why men don’t want to marry these days, but the one I find strange is when I discover that some men don’t actually want to get married because they are ashamed and very uncomfortable about the size of their p*n*s.

One of the texts I have been bombarded with lately says “Dear sir, can small P*n*s satisfy a woman with big buttocks? How many inches is long, and what do you consider as short. You may flash me and I will call you so you can tell me”.

I later found out he has not tried to get close to anything called marriage because he thought he will be ridiculed for the rest of his life. What do you make of that? Meanwhile I will like to take you through some of the reasons why some men don’t get married.

1. They can get sex without marriage more easily than in time past.

A lot of men realize now that they can get sex more easily than in times past, when women insisted in getting married before sex. I am a man and I can tell you that a lot of women have lost it when it comes to keeping themselves whole.

I am not so sure who is more promiscuous these days anymore, because it seems women offer sex like no man’s business this time around. There are women now who are sleeping with about 4 men at the same time and probably accommodate more if they can.

When women come to me to tell me how their husband was caught in Adultery, and seek my opinion as per if they should leave him, I always reassure them that most men who commit adultery these days, don’t go out looking for these ladies, but that the ladies seem to be everywhere making themselves available and have removed the fun we men use to have chasing them, since they are just there not to be chased but to be taken and dropped.

When men realize that they can have all the sex they want without getting married,they just don’t see the point GETTING MARRIED. We now have immoral terms like friends with benefits and one night stand, Oh gush.

2. They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.

I believe it must have come to your attention now that a lot men and women are living together now without being married to each other. It came to my own attention through my counseling sessions.

By the time I ask the lady or man where the husband or wife will be right now, they go like “actually Jerome, I think there is one more thing you need to know and that is we are not legally married, but are just living together”.

Now that blows my mind, because you are not legally married, you are living together and also have a child or two, in Africa, yes in Africa!

I know some of these starts on Campus where a lot of girls are just not staying in their hostels, but have moved in with their boyfriends who probably have a room at the BQ of the lecturer’s Quarters on Campus or in their rented apartment in town, and most of their school mates consider it acceptable.

Please note that this is also happening amongst those who profess to be religious on Campus as well. So continuing in that way of life isn’t a problem later. How do you expect these men to consider getting married when they have found a short cut to it?

3. They want to avoid divorced and its financial risks.

The rate of divorce is on the increase and lot of financial implication to go with it. So the guys figure out why marry if it can cost you more than having a family and catering for them at the end.

4. They want to wait until they are older to have children.

Most men today don’t express “burning desire” for children, saying they are not ready yet. Another factor may be at play, “They know they will have to be there equally with a wife and provide hands-on child care.”

5. They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromise.

Most of the time you will realize that a man just wants a wife “to look good, provide great sex, join in his recreational activities and tell him he is wonderful, while the Women’s requirements are much broader.”They want affection.

They want to feel loved. They want a great conversationalist, a man who is funny, a good father for their kids, someone who is attractive, a good sexual partner, a man who is ambitious and successful and God fearing.
And most men are simply not” all these things. For them to do this, a lot changes may be required which some men are not just ready for.

6. They are waiting for the perfect soul mate and she hasn’t yet appeared.

Let me describe a SOUL MATE using what D.H. Lawrence said; “You are the Call and I am the Answer. You are the Wish, and I the Fulfillment. You are the Night, and I the Day.

What else? It is perfect enough. It is complete. You and I.” What I realize here is that you may never find a compliment until you are capable of complimenting. Most of the time, we are looking for someone who will compliment us without the intention of complimenting anyone.

I guess we may wait for a perfect soul mate forever until we change our attitude and go out to look for someone to compliment.

7. They face few social pressures to marry.

Men face few social pressures to marry compared to what the females have to face. So at the end of the day, they don’t think it’s a big deal after all. One reason young men balk at marriage is “they don’t yet get it”, the problem is they just don’t realize what is in it for them.

We have not done a good job of selling marriage to men. They don’t know all the good things that will change their lives. Married men are healthier than single men, wealthier, they live longer and happier lives, they have more sex, they have somebody who knows them, and tolerates them anyway.

8. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children.

Most of the time single men are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children for a lot of reasons and one of them being that his family will object to it, the other reason could be that he begins to wonder how many men she has been with and abortions she has had before being forced to have the child with her now, and yet another reason can be that, he is not sure he will be comfortable with her having any form of contact with the father or fathers of the child/children when he is married to her.

Men feel this way forgetting that they can be worse when we talk in terms of morality. It’s more of the case of the pot calling the kettle black. Unfortunately they get away with it, because no one is holding them to ransom.

9. They want to own a house before they get a wife.

So some men say, but it’s just another way to avoid becoming a responsible person. What a lot of men may not realize is that marriage is a vision that is bigger than who they are and all they have to do is give themselves to it with the Almighty God as a witness and then begin building together with their wives as they obtain favour from the Lord.

Men have to realize that when we are children age 0-11 we have privileges, then from age 12-21 we retain our privileges through responsibilities e.g. if you want to take your father’s car out, be ready to refill the tank after using up the fuel in it otherwise, don’t ask for it the next day since you are not ready to be responsible.

Then from age 21- what we have left is responsibilities, and a lot of us fear that, I mean being responsible. So you find a lot of irresponsible men out there, who can change if we start to prepare our younger generation for the real life out there.

10. They want to enjoy single life as long as they can.

Well, some people just don’t want to grow up, do they? Some ladies have often made sentiments like “men are like trees, they take forever to grow.” Come on men, grow up and make your own family.

Written by By Jerome

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The Muzungu speaks out to Zambian ladies with dependancy syndrome

Published December 17, 2012 by betterzambia

As a white man living in Zambia, who likes Zambian women, I would like to ask one thing. What is it with begging money from men ? Why do Zambian women think it is normal behaviour to beg for Talktime or ask for money or send SMSs or phone calls (especially on Tuesday when the buy get 1 pizza special is on) from men they have just met ? Frankly I find myself in the embarrassing situation of having to refuse these normally very polite and beautiful women. I would also like to know why do Zambian women think that if you are in any relationship with them then you essentially become a piggy bank to be emptied of any spare cash ? I would like to know why if you buy something or send a Zambian girl to buy something for you almost certainly the change will be gone ?

As much as…I like women as much as any man, I get surprised by the number of Zambian women who throw themselves at any man who is white. It can really be difficult for me as a single man to go out and have fun when you are being pursued by any number of women ranging from prostitutes to expensively dressed and well spoken Zambian women. I have no illusion that I am very good looking by any stretch. Finally why does every Zambian woman I have a relationship with want me to marry them and take them back with me to Canada. I maybe a Muzungu but I am no fool nor do I intend to be some woman’s ticket out of poverty. That is why I have made up my mind as my three year stay in Zambia comes to an end, no Zambian women for me.

Yours truth
Muzungu

The 10 greatest African leaders

Published October 31, 2016 by betterzambia

Africa has seen many leaders. Some of them have successfully energized their followers and have made a positive impact in their lives.

Here, we look at The 10 Greatest African Leaders of all time.

10) Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is the 24th and current President of Liberia. She is Africa’s first elected female head of state. She won the 2005 presidential election and assumed the office on 18 January 2006. Many people have praised her for bringing stability back to Liberia after years of civil war. She was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Under her able leadership, people of Liberia can expect a glorious future for their country.

9) Samora Machel

Samora Machel was the first President of Mozambique. He served the country as its president from the time it gained its independence in 1975 till he died in 1986. He was a military commander and a revolutionary socialist. He was a thoughtful leader and was respected by the people of Mozambique. His actions and ideology are helping many people of Mozambique even today. He died mysteriously in a plane crash.

8) Jomo Kenyatta

Jomo Kenyatta was the first President of Kenya. Kenya gained independence in 1963. Jomo Kenyatta served as the leader of Kenya from the time it became independent till his death in 1978. He was the Prime Minister between 1963 and 1964, and President between 1964 and 1978. He brought stability and economic growth to Kenya. He pursued a pro-Western, anti-communist economic philosophy and foreign policy. He also oversaw his country’s admission to the UN.

7) Thomas Sankara

Credit: Alain Nogues / CorbisThomas Isidore Noel Sankara served as the President of Burkina Faso between 1983 and 1987. He seized power in 1983 at the age of 33 in an endeavor to eliminate corruption and the dominance of the former French colonial power. Many people call him “African Che Guevara.” He was a military captain, pan-African theorist, Marxist revolutionary and feminist. He was an icon for many young Africans in the 1980. Even today he is a hero for many people in Burkina Faso. They praise his integrity and selflessness. Sankara was assassinated by an armed group on October 15, 1987.

6) Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Emery Lumumba founded the mainstream Mouvement national congolais (MNC) party. He played a major role in campaigning for independence from Belgium. He was the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Congo. This Congolese independence leader called for national unity and overall African independence. After the nation fell under the control of military leader Joseph Mobutu, this great leader was arrested and taken to Katanga, where he was killed on 17 January 1961. Unfortunately United Nations did not intervene to save him.

5) Julius Nyerere

Julius Kambarage Nyerere is one of Africa’s most respected figures. He was the first President of Tanzania and held the office from 29 October 1964 to 5 November 1985. He voluntarily stepped down in 1985. He was premier when Tanganyika was granted internal self-government, and was made president on independence in 1961. In 1964 he successfully negotiated the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika, resulting in today’s Tanzania. This great leader guarded himself against corruption. He was respected by many world leaders of his time.
4) Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie was a member of the Solomonic Dynasty. He served Ethiopia as its regent from 1916 to 1930 and as its emperor from 1930 to 1974. He fended off an invasion by Italy. In 1936, at the League of Nations, he condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people during the Second Italo-Ethiopean War. He played a significant role in starting the Organization of African Unity. His views resulted in Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the UN.
3) Alpha Oumar Konare

Alpha Oumar Konare served as the President of Mali for two terms between 1992 and 2002. During his tenure as president, he boosted the country’s economy and fostered democracy. He was the chairperson of African Union between 2003 and 2008. He relentlessly worked for peace and integration in the West African region. He served as the president of ECOWAS in 1999 and UEMOA in 2000.
2) Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1951 to 1966. He was the first Prime Minister of Ghana. He was one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity, which later became African Union. He was an outspoken advocate of Pan-Africanism.
1) Nelson Mandela

nelson-mandela-greatest-african-leaders-710x404Nelson Mandela is best known for his involvement in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, this leader of international repute directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against South African government and its racist policies. Later he served as the President of South Africa from 10 May 1994 to 14 June 1999. Today he is regarded as a symbol of global peace and he is considered the best leader in the history of Africa. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Credit: http://www.africaranking.com/

Top ten sites for downloading free Zambian music, music videos plus more

Published October 8, 2016 by betterzambia

Here are the Top ten sites for downloading free Zambian music, music videos, entertainment news plus more.

1) http://www.afrofire.com/

2) http://www.indimba.com/

3) http://www.ckmusicpromo.com/

4) http://www.zambianmusic.net

5) http://www.zamtouch.co/

6) http://www.zedjams.com/

7) http://www.zambianmusicblog.co/

8) http://www.zambiantunes.com/

9) http://www.itsretunes.com/

10) https://zambianbeatboxafrica.wordpress.com/music-downloads/

Enjoy free downloads….

An Open Letter to Hon Dora Siliya, the Minister of Agriculture

Published October 8, 2016 by betterzambia

OPEN LETTER TO Hon DORA SILIYA

Dear Hon Dora Siliya,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our LORD and saviour. dora-siliya-press-2015-624x531Hon Dora Siliya, our newly appointed minister of agriculture, the citizenry are asking when is the recruitment exercise for agriculture officers for both diploma and certificate candidates?

It has been ages since the last recruitment exercise and this has negatively affected the effectiveness of service delivery and agriculture information dissemination to farmers due to the farmer/officer ratio which has lately been compromised.

The number of farmers keeps on growing everyday exceeding the number of officers hence the need to recruit some more officers who will enhance the ministry’s work, please look into this issue and together we conquer poverty.

Yours truly, Valentine M Chibale.

Inkoko: A sign of respect

Published August 7, 2016 by betterzambia

chicken pieces

dinner is served

When prepared for in-laws only inondo (gizzard) should be put inside representing
hubby’s testicles. The liver should never be included because it symbolizeswife’s labias. Amasako represents amaso, “limo limo iliso lyandi” and when removing them, the chicken skin does not have to ripe just as you are not supposed to injure partner when shaving, the feathers are not supposed to thrown everywhere palubansa, they are to be disposed off well just as we are supposed to diposed the amaso well.

When the chicken is being prepared, the neck should be fitted in the space where the neck starts or the neck will be an insult because it will represent an erect penis! Positioning, the chicken should be laid sidewards (kabafu). When giving your hubby or visitors relish, thou shall not serve 3 pieces of relish! The gizzard and neck should be for hubby. The chisunsunya (back) should be the last piece to be given to hubby to symbolize that the chicken has finished in the pot.

Chickens feet, akakasa bana mayo we should be mindful of our movements (that’s why a prepared chicken never has its feet, kuputula akakasa kakuseyelako) and also our feet should be used well to palaula in search of food for our family and also our feet should never be used like a chicken muku pasaula ifintu especially hubby’s family. On the feet we remove the outer part of the claws, to represent hubby’s nails i always have to keep them trimmed.

The thighs, legs, wings represent my thighs, hands and legs and legs for holding him when doing the job in the bedroom. The chickens back, that’s my back on which i lay when making love. The chicken breast is where my hubby sleeps when making love.

Now we get to the head, the chickens eyes represent my eyes, they should only be able to see my hubby noti kunkala nachi mansomanso, the ears represent my ears, mfwile ukushinka amatwi, mfwile ukunasha ifya kumfwa umfwa just like the chickens ear’s are so small and can not be seen! The two growths under the beak represent my labias, i shud have labias as a woman. The growth on top of the head represents my clitoris for stimulation! The beak of the chicken represents ;the mouth, that’s the tool a chicken uses for fighting and inflicting pain on others, i should be able to use my mouth well, ichasa kanwa bana mayo and the words we use that hurt other people!

#‎FROM‬ MUSENGE Z MUNGWALA

postive thinking

Published April 28, 2013 by LUMS MARTIN

Gratitude is an appreciation of your life right now, versus where you want it to be.”

*Noted in this book: People who write down the things they are grateful for every day have stronger immune systems, more happiness, and less reaction to negative events.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

“The Old Ones have always said that no matter who despises or ignores you, no matter who keeps you from entering their circles, it is right to pray for them because they are like us, too.”

“Much thought has at its root a dissatisfaction with what is. Wanting is the urge for the next moment to contain what this moment does not. When there is wanting in the mind, that moment feels incomplete. Wanting is seeing elsewhere. Completeness is being right here.”

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

“Every wall is a door.”

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

“Everything necessary to the full and complete expression of the most boundless experience of joy is mine now.”

“People who laugh together generally don’t kill each other.”

“It is hard to smash a computer when you’re laughing.”

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

“In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. Do not make yourself ill with overwhelm. There is a tendency to fall into being weakened by perseverating on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.”

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience and Infinite love is the only truth; everything else is an illusion.”

“Right now at this very moment we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness.”
“Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.”

“Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.”

“You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise.”

“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.”

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

“Your aspirations are your possibilities.”

“Your attitude is an expression of your values, beliefs and expectations.”

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”

“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

“Whoever you are, there is some younger person who thinks you are perfect. There is some work that will never be done if you don’t do it. There is someone who would miss you if you were gone. There is a place that you alone can fill.”

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”

“Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission.”

“The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.”

“The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”

“True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves, but from realizing our kinship with all beings.”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

“This time like all times is a very good one if we know what to do with it.”

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.”

“Science may have found a cure for most evils, but is has found no remedy for the worst of them all: the apathy of human beings.”

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, “This is the real me,” and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”

“Sometimes we are limited more by attitude than by opportunities.”

“Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.”

“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”

“Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.”

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

“To love someone is to give them the freedom to be themselves.”

“When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.”

“No human would ever do anything to harm another if Connected to Source because when you’re Connected, you’re empowered; you don’t feel insecure. And when you don’t feel insecure, you don’t need to do something to somebody else that you’re afraid of, because you’re not afraid. You understand that Well-Being is yours.”

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there– buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”

What do you think?
If you have a quote or two that could be added to this list, please let me know…

5 Gmail tips to Perform Tasks Easily & Effectively

Published April 19, 2013 by LUMS MARTIN

When you are online, your Email is your permanent address. There are many email service providers online, and Gmail is one of my favorite. With one Google account, you get access to all the services offered by Gmail. Over the years, Gmail surpassed Yahoo mail, and hotmail popularity, and now one of the best free Email service provider.

Here at better Zambia, we keep sharing various Gmail tips and tricks, for example you can do more with Gmail apart from Emailing, you can also use Gmail ID to login to Youtube account and you can create various Email templates to improve your productivity. It doesn’t matter what online service you prefer, what matter is if you are using it to maximum potential or not. To improve your experience with Google mail, here I’m sharing few tips for Gmail users, which will help you to use Gmail more effectively.

5 Tips to use Gmail more Effectively:
1. Sign out Gmail remotely

Gmail remote signout tip

This is the most useful feature and it will inform you when your account is accessed from another location which is not familiar to you.To perform this action click on details at the bottom of inbox and now it displays a dialogue box with the last 10 successful login details,click on “signout all other sessions”. You can set an alert by click on alert preference.

2. Select multiple Gmail Emails with single click

This is the time saving tip when you need to delete or move some messages from your inbox.For this you can select the starting message and now press shift button on keyboard,hold down it for a while and select the ending message.Now messages between starting and ending all are selected.

3. Vacation responder

Gmail Vacation responder

This might be useful when you are going to a vacation there is no internet connection.In this vacation responder you will give a message to your friends or somebody else who will contacts you.

How to set Gmail vacation message?

Click on the settings icon and select setings option.
In the general tab go to bottom and you will see vacation responder.
Now set vacation “responder on”
First day will be set to default and ends will be optional.If you want to give a date set it.
Now type subject and type the reply message what you say to your friends.
If you want to send message to your address book contacts only then tick the box and click on save changes button.
Now vacation responder is ready.
4. Use Gmail keyboard shortcuts

By turning on keyboard shortcuts you can manage your inbox,send mails,compose mail and archive the mails easily and quickly.To turn on the keyboard shortcuts follow this steps.

Go to settings and select the general tab.
Go to keyboard shortcuts and select “keyboard shortcuts on”.
Here you can find all the Keyboard shortcuts for Gmail. It make take a little time to remember all the keyboard shortcuts of Gmail, but it will eventually help you to get more done in less time.

5. Wrap up messages and store them safe

Many of Gmail users don’t try to archive their important messages with the archive feature.This will be useful for storing bunch of messages in a place safely.If you delete any message accidentally that will be stored in trash only for 30 days.By using this feature,you can store them life long.Just follow these steps to archive messages.

Select the messages and click on Archive button on the top.
Now they will be archived .
To get the messages which are archived follow these steps

Click on all mails on side bar.
Check the box and click on “move to” inbox button.
These are few of the many Gmail tips out here, but if you start following even few of them, it will help you to use Gmail effectively. Specially, if you learn all the Gmail keyboard shortcuts, you will save a lot of time.

If you have any other tip for Gmail service, do share with us via comments. If you find this article useful, do consider sharing it on Facebook and Google plus.
curtseys of springs of good hope foundation Zambia ( soghfzambia.wordpress.com )

Brain drain in Zambia

Published January 30, 2013 by betterzambia

Everywhere you go in the world today you will find Zambians that are, in some cases, doing extremely well. I visited a website recently called Mwape.com which is done by one of our very own Zambians who is in the US. He has a list of very educated Zambians that are working all over the world.

As I read the list I was absolutely amazed at the level of genius and achievement we have as a country. There was a diversity of people from a highly successful businessman in China to professors in universities and prestigious organisations all over the world.

Well, I started thinking “that’s great, I am happy for their personal achievements and success and undoubtedly they have worked very hard to be where they are.” But the question that then came to mind was – “what difference has their success made to us as a country?”

Unfortunately I found myself struggling to find even a few good examples of that difference. So in the end I had to conclude that they have probably not made as big a difference as they are capable of making.

So I am posing a challenge today to those Zambians that are outside the country and doing well. What are you doing to help change Zambia?

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Dr. Munanga Mwandila, a close friend of mine, is currently working in New Zealand. Now he is doing well and could have just sat back and enjoyed his success as so many people do. But he saw the needs he had left back home in Zambia and helped to start a project called “The Mutima Project.” This project aims to bring expertise from New Zealand to perform free cardiac operations on people that need them in Zambia, but can’t afford them. Over the next few years they aim to perform many heart operations.

So here is a Zambian who is abroad, but is making a difference to the lives of so many disadvantaged Zambians.

I know many of those outside the country probably left because they were unhappy with conditions in the country. But after leaving, is that all you are going to do? Are you not going to help change those very conditions you were unhappy about?

Quite often when people go out of the country they will complain about how bad things are back home. Well, in my view, if you are not doing something to change things then you probably have little right to complain in the first place. Why? Well, because in a sense, if you are not doing something about it you are basically abandoning the country and hoping things will somehow sort themselves out. In my view, that may be even worse than the very politicians we criticise as having destroyed the country.

So I am shouting out to the professors, engineers, doctors, economists, lawyers, nurses, teachers and the like that are doing well outside of Zambia. Let your expertise, experience and knowledge make a difference to us as a country. Help us to come up with solutions to the challenges we face. Bring some of that knowledge and experience back home.

Now, by that I don’t mean that you have to be physically here. You can do it from where you are. I am not just talking about sending money home either as most people usually thinks. More than the money, it is your expertise and solutions that we need. Money is a part of it, but without it being channelled in the right places you might as well flush it down the toilet. Yes, it’s okay to help your own extended family as many are doing and that is commendable, but what about helping the bigger Zambian family?

So to Zambians out there – wherever you are and whatever you do, start something back home that will help others and that will help to make this country a better place. So you or your children can someday return home to a country you can be proud of.

Loss of Intellectuals explained

African countries like Zambia are continually losing the very people they need to facilitate their economic, social and technological progress. This is perhaps the main reason why President Michael Sata recently called on Zambians living in Botswana, and in all countries worldwide as a matter of fact, to return home and help develop the country.

Between 1974 and 1985, for example, over 12,146 technical and professional personnel were admitted to the United States from various countries in Africa. And between 1993 and 1995, the United States admitted 32,317 of the continent’s skilled human resources. According to the World Bank Group in a 2005 publication, nearly 70,000 qualified Africans leave their home countries every year to work in industrialized nations.

And, according to the Ethiopia-based United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African continent lost a third of its skilled professional personnel through emigration in less than two decades prior to 2005, and has had to replace them with over 100,000 expatriate professionals at an annual cost of US$4 billion.

Clearly, this represents a significant loss to a continent that is in dire need of skilled professionals to facilitate and expedite the process of socio-economic development. Without large pools of such technical and professional talent, African countries are not likely to attain meaningful levels of socio-economic development.

Causes of the Brain Drain:

There are many factors obtaining in countries which are affected by the brain drain which have contributed to the exodus of skilled talent, including poor conditions of service, human rights abuses, nepotism and favoritism, deliberate disregard for local talent, scarcity of jobs, limited access to education, poor health care services, a high level of crime and partisan civil police, and the fear of losing valued relationships developed in foreign countries.

Considered from the standpoint of the origin of trained and skilled emigrants, the foregoing causes may be referred to as the “push factors” of the flight of human capital. The inverses of the causes are essentially the “pull factors” from the point of view of emigrants’ host countries.

Effects of the Skills Drain:

The impacts of the brain drain phenomenon include its adverse effects on a country’s prospects for technological advancement, its numbing effects on politics and governance in the emigrants’ home country, and its ghastly effects on the provision healthcare.

One would perhaps do well to cite some of the salient benefits associated with the flight of professionals from the African continent. In Ghana, citizens working abroad are accounting for the fourth largest source of foreign currency after cocoa, gold and tourism. The foreign currency remittances to the country have become more significant than development aid, which is normally delivered with a lot of conditions attached.

Kenya provides another good example of an African country that is benefiting from huge foreign currency remittances to the country by citizens who are resident in foreign countries. In 2008, for example, the country’s central bank recorded a 6.6 percent growth in remittances by Kenyans abroad from US$573.6 million the previous year to US$611 million.

And, if the emigration includes an entire family, the family would generally be better off. Besides, the exposure of emigrants to outside ideas is itself an engine of growth, because having a significant portion of the population in foreign countries means that individuals who are resident in the emigrants’ native countries would benefit from information flows through visits, the Internet or telephone discussions with the emigrants.

Moreover, some of the professionals who may initially emigrate often return to their home countries with new skills and ideas to help develop the economies of their respective countries.

Further, emigrants generally work in diverse socio-economic settings where they interact with people from different cultural, ethnic and/or religious backgrounds. This is potentially benign for emigrants’ native countries where ethnic or religion-based conflicts are common as it is likely to make the emigrants less bigoted upon their return to their countries and contribute to the harmonization of relations among cultural, religious and ethnic groupings.

Additionally, unhindered migration of a country’s citizens is a reflection of its observance of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, which provides for the following: (a) everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each country; and (b) everyone has the right to leave any country, including his or her own, and to return to his or her country.

It is also in observance of Article 12(2) of the African Union’s African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which states as follows: “Every individual shall have the right to leave any country including his own, and to return to his country. This right … [shall] only be subject to restrictions, provided for by law for the protection of national security, law and order, public health or morality.”

For governments and private institutions which hire trained personnel from other countries, professional flight is a benign phenomenon; it makes it possible for them to benefit from the knowledge and skills of people whose training they did not finance. They reap where they did not sow, so to speak!

With respect to foreign currency remittances, however, it is perhaps important to note that such remittances have helped to fund terrorism, civil wars and liberation struggles in collapsed or failed states. During the 1980s, for example, a large portion of remittances by Somalia’s citizens in the Diaspora made it possible for rural guerrillas to procure arms used in toppling the country’s government in 1991.

Nevertheless, it has long been recognized that any adverse consequences of skilled emigration (including remittances which have been used to fund diabolical activities) might be partly or wholly offset by remittances intended to serve benign purposes, as well as the return of emigrants who could have migrated back to their native countries with enhanced skills.

The Solutions:

There are many ways in which countries affected by the exodus of their native professionals can address the problem, including the following:

1) Peace and Stability: It is not possible for any country to attain mean­ingful socio-economic development that would provide a satisfactory standard of living for would-be emigrants in the absence of sustained peace and stability. This should be obvious because the war effort disrupts produc­tive socio-economic activities, and diverts es­sential resources away from the pursuit of a country’s goals and aspira­tions.

It is, there­fore, incumbent upon each and every political, tribal and military leader in the African Union to be mindful of the need to find ways and means of forestalling war and insta­bility. Among other things, there is a need for political leaders and their constitu­ents to embrace the following ele­ments of democratic gover­nance: account­abili­ty, tran­sparency, adequate checks and bal­ances, a free press, respect for the rule of law, a viable mech­anism for peacefully replacing incompe­tent leaders, and respect for human rights.

Moreover, there is a need for serious consider­ation of ethnic and other interests in the distri­bution of power, educational facilities, health services, and so forth.

2) Low-Interest Loans: The effort to stem the exodus of trained nationals to foreign countries may also require a country’s national and local governments to grant low-interest loans to professionals based in foreign countries so that they can return to the country to start and manage their own business undertakings. Such loans also need to be extended to locally based professionals to lure them from migrating to foreign countries for employment.

3) An Enabling Environment: Unless the factors that initially lead to migration are redressed, the exodus of skilled Africans will continue to haunt governments and employer-organizations on the African continent. There is, therefore, a need for African governments to find viable ways and means of tackling the problems of human rights abuses, armed conflicts, inadequate social services, and high rates of unemployment.

4) Feasible Policy Initiatives: There are many other important policy initiatives which countries affected by the exodus of trained personnel need to consider in their quest to address the problem and its effects on socio-economic development. Such initiatives may include the following:

(a) Tax proposals requiring native professionals trained through the public treasury to pay a certain percentage of their incomes earned abroad to their home-country governments;

(b) Generation of restrictive policies aimed at delaying emigration – such as by adding extra years to medical students’ training, requiring doctors and other professionals to stay on for a number of years to ‘pay back’ what they ‘owe’ to society, or to incorporate the delay within the training period, thus ensuring that certification follows rather than precedes a spell of public service;

(c) Initiation of international agreements requiring employers in foreign countries who may hire professionals trained through public resources to reimburse the home governments for financial and material resources committed to the training of the professionals;

(d) Introduction of retention allowances for skilled personnel on government payroll;

(e) Provision for research grants for academic staff in government-supported educational institutions;

(f) Provision for car-ownership and home-ownership schemes;

(g) Upward salary adjustments for employees on government payroll; and/or

(h) Assistance with passages for emigrant citizens wishing to return to their native countries by governments in such countries.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, a proactive strategy for redressing the brain drain by African leaders is needed, because prevention of the exodus of technical and professional personnel is actually better than cure, so to speak. Such a strategy would require leaders to pursue initiatives designed to prevent the exodus of professionals rather than waste resources on bolstering the return of indigenous talent.

In all, African leaders are going to have to work extra hard in ensuring that native professional talent is enticed to work locally in order for such talent to contribute to the development of native countries. If leaders cannot step up their efforts in this endeavor, they should not be surprised when they continue to lose their highly trained natives to countries which are relatively more developed.

In passing, African leaders need to guard themselves against attributing their own failure and mediocrity in governance to what have become traditional and convenient scapegoats for some of them; that is: colonialism, neo-colonialism, globalization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), among others.

These are mere scapegoats which should not be faulted for the bloated national governments on the continent which cannot live within their means, the electoral malpractices which block cadres of competent potential leaders from the realm of national leadership, or the hemorrhage of public resources through corruption and misappropriation.

The people are fed up of the blame game, and, therefore, expect leaders who have lamentably failed to address the socio-economic problems facing their countries to guard against blaming external factors as having caused such problems.

Main Source: Kyambalesa, Henry, Emigration of African Professionals: Causes, Effects and Solutions (Saarbrucken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing, April 2012).

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