LUSAKA, May 28 - Africa carries good assets, said first lady Maureen Mwanawasa yesterday. Miss Ethiopia poses for a photograph with Miss Bostwana (c) and Miss Kenya (r) at Holiday Inn Hotel ahead of Saturday's show meant to bring Africans together through beauty
Welcoming visiting African beauty queens at a luncheon at State House, Maureen said the ladies were opening doors for the continent.
Maureen said it was important that the beauty queens portrayed the true African culture.
"We rely on you to bring development to Africa because you are the ambassadors. You are opening doors for Africa as opposed to those who think Africa is a dark continent," Maureen said. "Africa carries good assets and is not a dark continent."
Maureen was delighted to see the African queens visit Zambia for the promotion of the continent's culture.
She said Africa believed in the united force and that the young generation should champion the cause.
Maureen commended Miss Zambia 2003, Cynthia Kanema for hosting the event with the help of a number of local sponsors.
"Africa has survived because of its united force and your coming from different countries is evident enough," Maureen said. "You young ones should grow with this spirit."
Maureen also advised the beauty queens to further their studies in their respective fields.
"This step you have taken should not derail your education. Make sure that you carry side by side what you are doing with education," she advised.
Maureen said education was an important tool in life.
She thanked the beauty queens that included Miss Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Botswana and Swaziland for accepting the invitation to Zambia.
Maureen said the African beauty queens' visit to Zambia would also add value to the country's tourism industry.
And Kanema thanked the first lady for hosting the beauty queens.
She said the aim of the African queens' visit was to promote culture.
"Africa has very rich culture and the show on Saturday is meant to bring Africans together through beauty," said Kanema.
Kanema said the event set for Hotel Intercontinental tomorrow would also provide a platform for cultural exchange.