President off to E Guinea for Africa-Arab summit
PRESIDENT Mugabe left Harare yesterday to attend the 4th Africa-Arab summit in Equatorial Guinea.
He was seen off at Harare International Airport by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko among other senior Government officials and service chiefs.
The President will join other Heads of States and Government at the summit, which will tackle a wide range of issues including reviewing AfricaArab cooperation and coordination in regional and international forums on issues of mutual concern.
The summit to be held under the theme, “Together for a sustainable economic development”, will also follow-up on the resolutions made at the third AfricaArab summit held in Kuwait in 2013.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Arab and African countries are already in Equatorial Guinea for preparatory meetings ahead of the summit.
Some of the Heads of State and Government that have confirmed their attendance at the summit include Sudan’s Omar Al Bashir, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, the host Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu as well leaders from Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
About 4 000 delegates including several ministers, and non-governmental organisations from the Middle East and Africa are also expected to attend the summit.
The previous summit adopted a new partnership strategy and a joint plan of action and issued the Kuwait Declaration, which voiced out a collective desire to promote co-operation in the political, economic and social cultural fields between Arab and African nations.
Zimbabwe enjoys cordial relations with the Arab world, having cooperated with countries such as Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates in various sectors including mining and agriculture.
Last week, the Government announced that it was negotiating with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development for funding amounting to $35.7 million to implement an intensive citrus irrigation project in Beitbridge, Matabeleland South Province.
During the third Arab Africa summit, Kuwait availed $5 billion as a development facility for Africa.
Out of this $5 billion only 70 percent has been taken up with the remainder still available.