Zambia’s developing international relations

This event launches the findings of a Chatham House Africa Programme research paper.

Research event, Panel
22 March 2023 — 1:00PM TO 2:00PM

Zambia is at the heart of several regional infrastructure corridors and economic blocs, serving as the headquarters of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The ‘new dawn’ administration under President Hakainde Hichilema has accordingly placed emphasis on leveraging Zambia’s strategic advantages as a ‘land-linked’ rather than ‘landlocked’ state. Zambia’s wider foreign policy approach continues to be based in part on its post-independence principles of non-alignment and ‘positive neutrality’, enabling the country to advance political and economic relationships with a multiplicity of partners.

Yet, President Hichilema’s proactivity in promoting Zambia’s exports and attracting broad-based investment – including through extensive targeted travels across Africa, the EU, UK and US (referring to himself as the country’s ‘chief marketing officer’) - marks a significant break from his predecessor President Edgar Lungu.

This event will launch and discuss the findings of Chatham House Africa Programme research paper Zambia’s developing international relations. It will explore Zambia’s evolving regional and international partnerships and the priorities for furthering Zambia’s agency to be a ‘rule-maker’ in its external relations, including how to balance its relations with other African nations, Western actors, China and other states in the Asia-Pacific region.

This event will also be broadcast live via the Africa Programme Facebook page.

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