The Zambian government has restated its commitment to enhancing workplace safety and the environment, noting that initiatives promoting this ideal will always enjoy its support.
Zambian Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Brenda Tambatamba, MP, stated this at the official unveiling/press briefing of the 2024 Africa Safety Award for Excellence (AfriSAFE) held in Lusaka, the Zambian capital on Friday, December 8.
Hon. Tambatamba expressed delight that Zambia was selected as the host for the 2024 AfriSAFE and Africa Safety Congress, saying it was a sign of the great confidence the entire continent and the African safety fraternity place on the Zambian safety profession and the performance in safety that industry and the country at large continue to achieve.
The minister harped on the need to uphold safety in workplaces and the general environment, stating that safety adherence comes with practical benefits including preserving and saving life, improving labour productivity, saving cost, enhancing production and improving competitive advantage.
According to the labour minister, incidents such as the recent mine accident in Chingola, in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province, which caused many casualties indicate that much more needs to be done and is also a call to action for all stakeholders in the country.
“We mush approach safety in an integrated fashion. Safety should involve the community playing an integral role if we are to firmly embed it into the performance culture that we aspire to see as a nation.
“Government remains committed to working with private sector, the safety profession and the community as a whole to see this objective being realised. It is attainable and with concerted effort we will achieve it. That is why I am encouraged to see companies such as Zambia Sugar and others taking a leading role in Safety.
“Therefore, the unveiling of the AfriSAFE and Africa Safety Congress 2024 comes at an opportune time for us to reinforce the safety message and promote the benefits of having a safety culture not just as respective industries but as communities, as individuals and as a nation, in general,” she said.
The minister added, “Government will continue to support initiatives that promote a safety culture of our people and the AfriSAFE 2024 will help in this effort. I am happy to be associated with the 2024 AfriSAFE and Safety Congress and proud to serve as chief host and patron of the AfriSAFE 2024.
“Government looks forward to welcoming the 600 delegates in November next year and we hope they all have an enjoyable experience and sample the best of what Zambia has to offer.”
The Zambian Minister of Tourism, Hon. Rodney Sikumba, MP, said that the 2024 AfriSAFE and Africa Safety Congress would provide great opportunities to boost the performance of the tourism sector in the country.
“As we prepare to welcome the esteemed guests and participants from across the continent, AfriSAFE provides an opportunity for us to showcase not only the splendor of our landscapes but also the commitment to maintaining the highest standards of safety in our tourism and other sectors.
“Safety is paramount in the travel industry, and we understand the importance of providing visitors with an environment that allows them to explore, relax, and enjoy their stay without concerns.
“Government, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, has implemented stringent safety measures and protocols to ensure the well-being of tourists while preserving the authenticity of our unique attractions,” he said.
Meanwhile, President of AfriSAFE, Nthabiseng Mmusi, expressed appreciation to Zambia Sugar for hosting the official unveiling of the 2024 event in Zambia.
Mmusi, who hails from Botswana, disclosed that 6th AfriSAFE slated for November 2024 would recognise and celebrate the remarkable achievements of individuals and organisations leading the charge on safety across Africa.
She added that the event would provide a platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration and networking among safety professionals, policy makers and other stakeholders.
She added that AfriSAFE 2024 would also facilitate discussions on emerging trends and challenges in the safety landscape as well as develop innovative solutions and strategies to address key safety concerns on the continent.
“AfriSAFE is not just an event; it is a movement. It is a community of individuals and organizations united by a common goal: to make Africa a safer place for everyone.
“We invite all of you to join this transformative movement, to get involved and share our knowledge and be champions for safety in our community.
“So I invite all of you to make Africa a safer place. Let’s work together to build a safer, healthier, and more prosperous future for Africa,” Mmusi said.
Other dignitaries at the event include Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism of Zambia, Evans Muhanga; the Former Chief Executive Officer, Workers Compensation Fund Control Board, Zambia, Dr. Elizabeth Nkumbula; Country Managing Director of Zambia Sugar, Oswald Magwenzi represented by Mr. Collins Phiri, Estate Support Services Executive Director ; Founder of AfriSAFE, Mr. Femi Da-silva; and AfriSAFE Global Vice-President, Frank Mwaala Sipilanyambe.