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Gas discovery: Zim to tap into oil-producing countries

FOLLOWING its discovery of oil and gas in Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central, Zimbabwe will tap into the knowledge of oil-producing countries like South Sudan to derive maximum benefits for its people.

This came out yesterday when President Mnangagwa gave his brief to the country’s newly-appointed Ambassador to South Sudan Kossam Mupezeni.

The President appointed Ambassador Mupezeni as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to South Sudan a fortnight ago.

He is replacing Ambassador Kufa Chinoza who was transferred to Ghana at  the end of his tenure in the oil-rich country.

South Sudan is one of the most oil-dependent countries in the world, with about 98 percent of the government’s annual operating budget and at least 80 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) derived from oil.

Oil is exported through a pipeline that runs to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

In an interview following his closed-door meeting with President Mnangagwa, Ambassador Mupezeni said he had been directed by the President to further relations between Harare and Juba.

Zimbabwe, he said, was looking to tap into South Sudan’s oil expertise, while the latter was looking to tap into the former’s agricultural and educational nous.

“His Excellency gave me a very wide mandate ranging from education, health and security. It is a very broad array and the array is coming from our relationship with South Sudan. We have a very special relationship.

“They have needs in education and capacity development and we need to assist them. They also need provisions in agriculture and we need to help them given our prowess in agriculture.

“In mining, there are things that we can also learn from them. They are an oil country and we could learn on issues of oil and gas from our Sudanese friends,” he said.

Ambassador Mupezeni said he would hit the ground running and ensure relations between the two countries are furthered for the mutual benefit of both peoples.

“As you know we worked with them, cooperated with them. As we prosecuted our own armed struggle they were doing the same so we have a long history together of working together. So, we need to nurture that relationship and continue to work with them,” he said.

Ambassador Mupezeni also expressed gratitude to President Mnangagwa for his appointment.

“I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to His Excellency President Mnangagwa for the confidence he has reposed in me by sending me to represent him and the country at large in South Sudan,” he said.

Zimbabwe last year attended the South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) conference in Juba, where the country highlighted the role that South Sudanese expertise will play in supporting the growth of Zimbabwe’s nascent oil and gas market.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), two pipelines are currently running from the oil fields in the south to the Bashayer Marine Terminal in Port of Sudan or to oil refineries in Khartoum.

Herald

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