The Struggles in Zambia

By LaTionna Russell, Sophomore, Pittsburgh Obama

During the One Young World Summit, I had the opportunity to interview a delegate from South Africa. What he had to say about the suffering in his home town was very heart breaking as well as an eye-opener to me in my own country.

This heroic young man is Chisanze Mwale. He is 25 years old and works as a financing accountant in his south central African home town. He went to school in South Africa, as well as his undergraduate years in the U.K.

Zambia is a population of 13 million people. Their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is equivalent to $22-$24 billion dollars. “From the population of people in Zambia, that amount is not really inspiring,” Mr. Mwale stated. A lot of people have to struggle for the basics of things that we Americans take for granted such as a decent meal to eat, or a place to sleep.

Chisanze shared with me that a lot has to be improved in his country. Construction development, education, and healthcare. A lot of people in Zambia do not have access to healthcare as well. “A lot of people who don’t live in Zambia have a particular view on the people in Zambia. Especially Western America,” Chisanze stated. He also shared that his country suffers from outside stereotypes. Getting people to believe in themselves is also a goal of this 25 year old.

“The government is only as good as their people. I want to see my country equal with other countries like, exporting goods, as well as sharing our culture and beliefs.” When I asked him who he believes has to take responsibility in his country, his answer was very surprising. He stated that it was his generation who has to take responsibility for the problems in his country. Two-thirds of the populations in his country are children so it is up to them. “It is up to the young people to step up. The youth have the best ideas and we need to make sure our voices are heard. This is our country.”

“The world has changed a lot in the past ten years. “The Internet especially. Without the Internet, I wouldn’t have been here with you. The mistrust in the world as well… I was listening to Jamie Oliver and I remember when he said that people are dying of too much food versus not enough food in other areas. That is so ironic that in my country, we don’t have enough food while, in others, people are eating too much.”

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