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Inclusive global financial system vital: President – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Fungi Kwaramba in NEW YORK, US
A JUST, responsive and inclusive global financial system is critical for world nations to tackle both present and future challenges, while the United Nations should ever be the beacon of hope for the world, President Mnangagwa has said.

Addressing the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) here yesterday, President Mnangagwa called for the reform of global financial institutions that have fallen short in addressing challenges faced by developing countries such as climate change, Covid-19 and conflicts.

United Nations General Assembly

“The current global financial architecture has demonstrated its inadequacies to address the challenges that confront us. Increasing and unsustainable debt burden, the prohibitive cost of borrowing, illicit financial flows and exploitation of natural resources from developing countries, have all combined to relegate developing countries to the periphery of the global financial system.

“There is, therefore, a need for a global financial system which is just, more inclusive and responsive to the challenges we face,” said the President.

Inadequacies in the global financing system have been exposed especially by the Covid-19 pandemic, conflicts and climate change, calamities where developing countries have been left to bear the brunt alone.

President Mnangagwa cited the World Trade Organisation, which has remained largely exclusive and indifferent to the needs of developing countries, as one institution that requires urgent reform.

In this vein, the President said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to be the panacea for Africa to trade and stimulate economic growth and development.

“The AfCFTA must be complemented as we strive to improve production and trade in goods and services. Liberalisation of services and the strengthening of Competition Policy and Intellectual Property Rights; as well as the adoption of digital trade should also be enhanced”.

UNGA 77 is being held under the theme: “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges”, an apt theme that President Mnangagwa said captures the importance of scaling up actions towards delivering Agenda 2030, a plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity.

Agenda 2030 also seeks to strengthen universal peace, eradicating extreme poverty in all its forms and dimensions, and in Zimbabwe, it has been captured in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) as the pivot towards realising Vision 2030.

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is determined to lift its citizens from poverty and outlined to the Assembly measures that the Second Republic is implementing to improve the welfare of the people through development that leaves no one and no place behind in the journey towards Vision 2030, to become an upper-middle-class economy.

“Lifting many more people out of poverty and into a higher quality of life must remain at the core of both UN activities and the programmes and projects of our respective countries. Zimbabwe has made significant strides towards ending poverty and hunger. This has seen the implementation of various policies and programmes to support and empower communal and small-scale farmers.

“At the household level, the provision of agriculture inputs, equipment and technical support to farmers, especially the vulnerable, has contributed to household and national food and nutrition security. However, in 2022, mid-season drought and tropical cyclones regrettably reduced the overall performance of the agriculture sector”.

In light of the effects of climate change, President Mnangagwa has come up with measures to climate-proof agriculture such as Pfumvudza and the construction of dams in every part of the country in development that leaves no one and no place behind.

And despite limited financing for climate change by the developed world, which must be scaled up, the President outlined measures that his Government has come up with to reduce the effects of changing weather patterns that were largely caused by Western countries.

“My Government is implementing an ambitious programme to increase the number of dams for irrigation. The programme is expected to create greenbelts across the country, as we reduce dependence on rain-fed agricultural activities while enhancing export-led production and productivity.

“Our comprehensive Agriculture Transformation Strategy is focused on increasing production and productivity across the agriculture spectrum. This was instrumental in our unprecedented realisation of national wheat self-sufficiency as well as increased exports in horticulture.

“The provision of technical extension services for improved land and water use has seen widespread adoption of climate-smart agricultural innovations, with evident upward increase of incomes among communal and smallholder farmers as well as women and youth in agriculture”.

President Mnangagwa outlined measures that have been implemented by Zimbabwe, such as massive infrastructure development projects which include dams, energy plants and roads that have broadened the national economic asset base as well as production and productivity enablers, while enhancing regional connectivity and integration.

Through devolution and decentralisation, the country has witnessed rapid construction of schools, clinics, water and sanitation infrastructure and other social amenities, in the most remote areas.

“Zimbabwe is modernising and industrialising based on our local resources and human capital base. Inspired by the historic monument, Great Zimbabwe, from which our country’s name is derived, we are building our country brick by brick, stone upon stone, with the support of our friends and partners. As my Government continues to entrench democracy, good governance and the rule of law, we are committed to vibrant, competitive and peaceful political contestations”.

Even though Zimbabwe has registered progress in improving the lives of its people, President Mnangagwa said illegal sanctions imposed by Western countries as punishment for the land reform continue to hamstring growth.

“The ongoing deleterious effects of the illegal sanctions continue to hamper and slow down our progress and the realisation of sustainable and inclusive development.

“Zimbabwe is a peace-loving country. We remain indebted to the Sadc region and the African Union, as well as other progressive members in the comity of nations for their unwavering support and calls for the removal of these unwarranted and unjustified sanctions. We once again call for their immediate and unconditional removal. My country welcomes the findings of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of the Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, who visited Zimbabwe in 2021.”

At international level, Zimbabwe has adopted an Engagement and Re-engagement Policy that has seen a new approach where the country has expressed its desire to be a friend to all and an enemy to none.

“This policy is underpinned by the principles of mutual understanding and respect, cooperation, partnership and shared values with other members of the international community. We desire to be a friend to all and an enemy to none,” President Mnangagwa said.

He added that Zimbabwe is ever committed to the principles of the UN Charter and multilateralism in the resolution of the complex and intersecting challenges facing the world.

“The implementation of the inclusive 2030 Agenda remains our biggest hope for the future we all want. There is indeed a more compelling case for enhanced solidarity, co-operation and partnerships if we are to respond effectively to these challenges and ensure our collective survival.

“The UN should remain the beacon and source of hope for the global citizenry. As leaders, we have a weighty burden and responsibility to make the UN deliver to the expectations of all the peoples of the world,” President Mnangagwa said.

He also called for support from the United Nations for the restoration of peace in Mozambique, while also outlining measures that his administration has taken to improve the lives of women, and youths, and also ensuring universal access to health and education.

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agriculture

EXPLAINER | US-Zimbabwe relations and targeted sanctions – News24

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa

PHOTO: Jekesai Njikizana, AFP

  • Eighty-three individuals and 37 entities are designated under the Zimbabwe sanctions programme.
  • The long-held argument by the ruling party is that the sanctions negatively affect trade and investment.
  • But the opposition says the ruling party is using the sanctions as an excuse for political failures.

African leaders have called for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by a law the United States Congress passed in 2001, during late Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s regime.

At the recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) in New York, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and African Union chairperson Macky Sall, who is also the president of Senegal, spoke about the need to remove the restrictions imposed by the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Zedera).

Over the past three years, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has marked 25 October as Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Day, hosting solidarity marches in cities across the region.

However, the sanctions in Zimbabwe have divided opinion.

READ | US stands firm over sanctions on ‘increasingly repressive’ Zimbabwe despite lobbying by Ramaphosa

Members of the ruling party claim the restrictive measures have a direct effect on ordinary civilians and frustrate policy space for the government’s development plans.

But the opposition, which is accused of calling for sanctions on the country, feels the ruling party is using the sanctions as an excuse for its political failures and for political mileage.

According to the US Embassy in Zimbabwe, the sanctions are “targeted financial sanctions against select members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite for undermining democratic processes, abusing human rights or facilitating corruption”.

Man with makeshift cart to transport water

Tap water supply is unreliable in Chitungwiza in Harare. Some people now make a living carrying water for residents.

GroundUp Joseph Chirume, GroundUp

Thus, the US has, in the past, made it clear that it supports Zimbabweans’ push for the restoration of democracy, respect for human rights and better governance, as defined in the country’s 2013 constitution.

The US Embassy argues that “sanctioned members of the ruling elite continue to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes and institutions, commit human rights abuses related to repression, and engage in corruption.

“For these reasons, successive administrations have renewed the sanctions against those who continue to undercut Zimbabwe’s democracy.”

The long-held argument by the ruling party is that sanctions negatively affect trade and investment.

However, the US says that’s not true.

“US sanctions against the ruling elite do not block trade and investment with non-sanctioned individuals and entities. At present, 83 individuals and 37 entities are designated under the Zimbabwe sanctions programme,” Molly Phee, US State Department Assistant Secretary for African Affairs argued in an op-ed in March this year.

Data shows that trade between Zimbabwe and the US stands well above R1.4 billion and that as of last year, there was a US Department of Commerce-supported trade mission to Zimbabwe.

In comparison, this is more than Zimbabwe’s export receipts to Botswana (R651 million) and exports to Zambia (R1.2 billion) according to figures from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

Since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, the US has been the single-biggest donor country.

Informal traders line the road that links Bindura

Informal traders line the road that links Bindura Town and the long-haul bus terminus. Among them are Zimbabweans who have returned from South Africa.

GroundUp Joseph Chirume, GroundUp

It accounts for R59.5 billion, covering health, humanitarian and development assistance, such as agriculture and livelihood sustainability.

For the Covid-19 pandemic, the US provided more than R816 million in support.

The US argues that for sanctions to be removed, “the Mnangagwa government can show the world that its citizens live in a safe, prosperous, equitable country regardless of their political views”.

“Let all Zimbabweans feel free to offer their fullest potential and work to build a stronger, more prosperous and more inclusive society.”

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.


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agriculture

R1,3 million windfall for Gwanda irrigation scheme – The Herald

The Herald

Elton Manguwo

SMALLHOLDER farmers at Sebasa Irrigation Scheme in Gwanda have started enjoying benefits from the Smallholder Irrigation Rehabilitation Programme after raking in an income of R1, 3 million from their integrated farming operations in seven months.

As calls for farmers to adopt modern agribusiness practices reach fever pitch, the Sebasa Irrigation Scheme has become the business model the Government is pushing for through the transformation of rural agriculture.

“The scheme, which is equipped with a state of the art solar powered irrigation system and a sand abstraction system is fully operational and functional and farmers are able to produce different crops all year around,” chief director Agricultural Advisory and Rural, Development Services, Professor Obert Jiri observed recently.

Besides being focused on national food security the Government through the irrigation scheme has been able to create a symbiotic relationship with farmers whereby it achieves its production targets whilst the farmers are set to benefit from the value chain as the Sebasa irrigation scheme is set to realise six tonnes of wheat benefiting 60 households.

The irrigation scheme’s location right at the outskirts and deep corner of the country envisages and captures the Government’s thrust of inclusive involvement of everyone in the development processes.

“The irrigation scheme is situated a kilometre from the Botswana border and this echoes the President’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind as the nation journeys towards the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030,” stressed Professor Jiri.

Prof Obert Jiri

Sebasa Irrigation Scheme in Ward 24 of Gwanda district was first established in 1968 then rehabilitated in 2021 after several years of inactivity. The 64-hectare scheme has 112 members.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka also stressed that the outcome of these result oriented projects directly impacted and accelerated the attainment of Vision 2030 when he addressed attendees at the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) conference in Gweru recently.

In addition, the Ministry has made key interventions such as the formation of the Irrigation Development Alliance to create an enabling environment for accelerated rural agriculture development in the irrigation subspace.

Irrigation development has been identified as a key accelerator towards uplifting people from poverty. With 60 percent of the population residing in the rural areas, the establishment of irrigation schemes will play a pivotal role in boosting agricultural production and maximise productivity.

The Government under the National Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Programme has commenced the resuscitation of communal irrigation schemes nationwide, which is a key enabler to small-scale farming economies.

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agriculture

High inputs prices worry farmers – Newsday

MIDLANDS farmers say they are grappling with high costs of production as inputs prices soar ahead of the 2022/23 summer planting season.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) president Abdul Nyathi said: “We are worried that prices of farming inputs remain on the high side as we face the summer season.

“We are engaging government so that the issue can be addressed, and this is for the betterment of farmers and the agriculture industry in general.”

A random survey conducted by Southern Eye in Gweru revealed that the price of a 10kg bag of maize seed ranges from US$30 to US$40 depending on the variety and brand.

Figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency show that the annual inflation rate last month dropped to 106,3% from a high of 285% in July.

But the Food and Agriculture Organisation last week adjudged Zimbabwe as the worst country in the world in terms of food inflation. A World Bank report also said that prices of basic commodities and food in Zimbabwe were very high.

Meanwhile, Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka said disease-induced livestock deaths had dropped by 50% owing to the tick grease programme.

Masuka said this while addressing farmers at the just-ended Zimbabwe Farmers Union 82nd congress in Gweru. The most common livestock diseases in Zimbabwe include theileriosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and heartwater.

The Lands and Agriculture minister said the country’s dairy sector grew by 17% this year compared to last year.

 

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