Africa enters new era of cooperation

AFRICA has reached a stage of inter-continental cooperation for its development and its member states must collaborate closely in key sectors of agriculture and technology to lift the continent’s citizens to prosperity, President Mnangagwa has said.

Yesterday the President, who arrived home last night from Cairo, held bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and stressed the importance of extending the excellent political relations between the two countries, which date back to the liberation struggle, to the economic front.

President Mnangagwa was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Fredrick Shava, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr Anxious Masuka and Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube when he held the bilateral engagement with President El-Sisi.

In an interview, the President said Zimbabwe and Egypt will strengthen

cooperation, riding on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, particularly in areas where both countries have expertise.

“Myself with the ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance and President El-Sisi and his three ministers, including his Minister of Foreign Affairs, we had a broad and comprehensive discussion about our relations, the historical relations between our two countries.

“We walked the distance of cooperation during the period of the liberation struggle when most of us, 60 years ago, we came here to Egypt for military training, showing that there had been this cooperation and Egypt contributed to the liberation of Zimbabwe from colonial rule.”

Beyond strong historical bonds, soldered during the liberation struggle, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe and Egypt are in agreement that the time has come for Africa to cast aside colonially-foisted blinkers for unrestrained cooperation and collaboration.

“Currently, we feel it is necessary to have more comprehensive economic and bilateral relations between our two countries especially in the areas of food security. They have advanced technology in the area of preservation of food as well as aquaculture which they have here and we felt that we could cooperate.

“Beyond that, we discussed issues of national security, defence and security, they are well advanced, they are willing to train our people in that field, and we should take advantage of that offer which they have given us,” he said.

With Zimbabwe having revolutionised its agriculture sector through innovative farming models that guarantee surpluses, President Mnangagwa said the country, which has an abundance of wheat, could soon be exporting to Egypt.

“Zimbabwe has vast lands for agriculture, we are an agricultural country and we can cooperate in that area. They also want things like wheat, which we produce and we believe in the model of agriculture which has been introduced by our Minister of Agriculture, there is a market here to export our wheat,” said the President.

The current crop of leaders on the continent, President Mnangagwa said, have the correct mind-sets of developing the continent using local resources.

In Zimbabwe, this is espoused in President Mnangagwa’s Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo philosophy where local resources have been harnessed to develop the country’s various sectors, most notably the infrastructure development sector.

“Generally, we said Africa has reached a stage where we can have inter-trade among African countries, in fact, we can have the majority of our needs found internally in Africa and we need to have inter-Africa trade promoted among ourselves. It is necessary that we help each other in development by sharing what we have, the resources we have and the skills we have in Africa and cooperating, rather than copying beyond our continent, only in exceptional circumstances can we do so.

“The current crop of African leaders must have that vision of developing and making Africa really an independent continent, we have resources, in fact, most of our resources are not yet exploited, We must look at that and we will be collaborating among ourselves,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President was in Egypt for the Inter-African Trade Fair which was being held in collaboration with the African Union and the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The Trade fair attracted participation from 75 countries and featured 1 600 exhibitors and as the curtain comes down today, it is expected to facilitate trade and investment deals amounting to US$43 billion.


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