Pres­i­dent off to E Guinea for Africa-Arab sum­mit

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Kuda Bwititi Harare Bureau

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.

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