Southern Province Minister Mr Edify Hamukale has commended the Copperbelt University Dag Hammarskjold institute of Peace and conflict studies for promoting the spirit of oneness among Zambians regardless of ethnic identity.

Mr Hamukale said embracing the spirit of UBUNTU will foster economic development across the country.

‘Together, we can achieve more. Our capabilities to overcome the various challenges of our time, and those yet to come, are greatly enhanced when we pool our skills and creativity from the vast tapestry of our ethnic identities.’ He said.

Mr Hamukale further called on scholars from the University and beyond to contribute to building a prosperous state founded on peace and Unity while embracing the Motto One Zambia One Nation.

‘I encourage the scholars here present, to contribute to this national aspiration in building cohesion among our people and a stable, indivisible and prosperous state which, for the most part, has characterised our country Zambia. It is my hope, therefore, that this conference will help us to strengthen our One Zambia, and One nation. Where we are failing, we get reminded on how we could move together ‘without leaving anyone behind’.

He was speaking at the Copperbelt University Dag Hammarskjöld Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies conference held in Livingstone under the theme Ethnicity, State Building, Collective Grievances and politics of identity.

And Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies Dr John Bwalya said the two days International conference is aimed at developing strategies of resolving conflicts resulting from political ethnic groupings.

The conference has attracted national and international scholars from the University of Geneva, Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India, University of Zambia, Copperbelt University and corporate entities.

Among the notable scholars and prominent politicians present at the conference was Dr Vernon Mwanga.

Dr Mwanga in his paper presentation elaborated on the importance of looking into the success stories of countries such as Rwanda that were once affected by conflict arising from ethnic diversity.

‘In our modern age and time, we have enough lessons to learn from in order to perfect the art of state building. Zambians should desist from using ethnic differences in politics.’ He said.

 He also called on Zambians to use ethnic diversity for constructive purposes.

The two days international conference has been sponsored by cooperating partners of the Swiss Programme for Research on global issues for development, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Copperbelt University.

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