LUSAKA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Zambia on Wednesday joined the rest of the African continent in commemorating the Africa Freedom Day with President Hakainde Hichilema calling for the exploitation of Africa's abundant natural resources to grow economies.
While acknowledging that many countries on the continent have attained political independence, the Zambian leader expressed concern that many countries have not yet attained economic emancipation.
He expressed concern that the continent was still grappling with many challenges such as food insecurity, instability as well as other challenges which have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, Africa was endowed with abundant natural resources which could go a long way in unlocking sustainable development and improving food security if properly harnessed.
"These resources can improve food security in our country, the region, continent and the rest of the world if they are properly managed and harnessed," he said in his address to mark the day which was televised on the state broadcaster.
While the continental theme for this year's commemoration is "Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent", Zambia chose the local theme, "Leveraging National Resources to Boost Food Security".
The Zambia leader said the country was self-sufficient in the production of maize, cassava and groundnuts which could go a long way in contributing to food security if properly managed.
The main commemoration in Lusaka, the country's capital, started with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Freedom Statue in honor of people who died while fighting for the country's independence.
A ceremony was later held at State House in which various people were honored for their contribution to the country's development in various areas.