IFSW Africa Region Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development (SWSD 2017)
SWAZ President’s Welcoming Statement
I warmly welcome each and every delegate to Zambia’s Tourist Capital City of Livingstone and the 2017 International Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development, with its Theme: ‘Embracing Evidence-Based Practice for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development’. In particular, I especially welcome the international delegates to Zambia. The name Zambia comes from the fourth biggest river in Africa Zambezi River after the Rivers of Nile, Niger and Congo. The River Zambezi has created the world’s most famous and spectacular Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls (meaning the Smoke that Thunders), which I hope all of you will have an opportunity to see during your stay in Livingstone. When the Scottish Missionary Dr. David Livingstone from Europe first saw it he was so much amazed and impressed that he immediately called it Victoria Falls to honour Queen Victoria of England. Zambia, in spite of its share of developmental and environmental challenges still continues to be an oasis of peace in the Southern African Region and Continental Africa as a whole since its independence in 1964.
Since the 1940s before any adverse effects of Climate Change, Zambia has been known as an ‘Air Conditioned State’. Until recently, the weather in Zambia has been generally cool and warm throughout the year. Even in hot months between August and November just sitting under a shade of a tree could feel like one is under an Air Condition machine! The history of Social Work in the country is older than the history of Zambia itself. From the late 1920s, the engine of national socioeconomic industrialization and transformation in this country has been Copper mining. In fact, it was Copper mining that first introduced the Western form of Social Work in the country. Social Workers were being recruited from outside of the country to come and work on the Copper mines which had created and in some cases only magnified such social problems as limited housing, unemployment, crime, poverty and related others. Up until today, these social problems continue to define the work and intervention areas for Social Workers in Zambia.
The Social Workers Association of Zambia (SWAZ) is delighted to host the 2017 International Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development. I look forward to meeting you all and experiencing an exchange of ideas, networking, sharing of knowledge and creation of long-term professional relationships among all delegates. Like the active participation of all links in a bicycle chain to pull the bicycle forward, the success of the Conference will also largely depend on the active participation of each and every participant of the Conference. I, therefore, strongly encourage every delegate to actively participate in the proceedings of the Conference.
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Social Workers Association of Zambia and all the Social Workers in the country, I once again warmly welcome you all to Zambia and the International Conference and wish you a pleasant and memorable stay in Livingstone and a safe trip back home. I also take this opportunity to thank all the organizations and individuals who contributed to making this Conference a great success.
Lawrence Mukuka, PhD
President: Social Workers’ Association of Zambia (SWAZ).