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‘Diplomats should adapt to new technologies’, Ambassador Lucy Mungoma

Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary, Ambassador Lucy Mungoma, has urged Zambian diplomats to be innovative if they were to remain relevant in modern diplomacy.

Speaking to diplomatic and locally engaged staff at the Zambia High Commission in London during the week, Ms. Mungoma said the enhancement in Information and Communication Technology was posing a challenge to diplomats to devise other methods in their day-to-day activities.

Ambassador Mungoma said although diplomats were still relevant as they remain key players in the profession, she reminded diplomats of the many changes brought about by ICT in the practice of diplomacy. She said diplomats should adapt to new technologies to complement their work. She said the advancement of ICT calls for diplomats to be more innovative.

Ms. Mungoma argued that ICT can only render diplomats irrelevant if practitioners were not proactive in identifying new developments to generate useful reports to decision-makers in government. She encouraged diplomats to acquire the needed skill and have the knowledge of global trends and issues that are of interest to Zambia.

She said although information technology was a challenge to diplomats, the development should not make diplomats redundant. She said diplomats were still relevant because they were the people on the ground with contacts useful for collecting vital confidential information that could be beneficial to the government.

“Diplomacy is becoming more challenging. Diplomacy today is different from what it was 30 – 50 years ago. It has evolved and diplomats must be innovative and adapt to new technologies in their day-to-day activities,” said Ambassador Mungoma who was on Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Mission to the United Kingdom.

She also addressed diplomatic and locally engaged staff at Zambian Embassies in Brussels- Belgium and Washington – United States of America.

Ms. Mungoma said her door will always remain open to diplomats who may wish to discuss progressive functional issues. She commended both diplomatic and locally engaged staff at the London Mission for rendering good service to the country.

“It is my intention to meet all diplomats in our Missions abroad because I may not be aware of the challenges that you face. It is also an opportunity for you to clarify some issues that your heads of Missions may not be able to solve,” she said.

Ambassador Mungoma also urged Zambians working for Zambian Missions abroad to be proud and be good ambassadors of Zambia. She also encouraged Zambians abroad to contribute to the development of their country through remittances.

“I know that some of you have since become holders of British passports but you must be proud that you were born in Zambia. Your country is your heritage. You must be proud of your country,” she said.

Ms. Mungoma also thanked non-Zambians working for Zambian Missions abroad for rendering good services.

Earlier, Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Professor Royson Mukwena, thanked the permanent secretary for finding time to meet staff despite her busy schedule. //END

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