Pres­i­dent to ad­dress Africa-Arab sum­mit

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - From Kuda Bwititi in Malabo, Equa­to­rial Guinea

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe is to­day ex­pected to ad­dress other Heads of State and Govern­ment at the 4th Africa-Arab sum­mit un­der­way here.

The Pres­i­dent, who is ac­com­pa­nied by First Lady Dr Grace Mu­gabe and se­nior Govern­ment of­fi­cials, ar­rived here on Mon­day night.

He was re­ceived at Malabo In­ter­na­tional Air­port by host Pres­i­dent Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mba­sogo and the First Lady of Equa­to­rial Guinea Con­stan­tia Mangue De Obiang.

The sum­mit, run­ning un­der the theme: “To­gether for a Sus­tain­able Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment”, has at­tracted sev­eral Heads of State and Govern­ment from the 22 mem­ber Arab world, and more than 50 coun­tries from Africa.

Speak­ing to jour­nal­ists yes­ter­day, For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sim­barashe Mum­bengegwi said Heads of States were ex­pected to craft a new tra­jec­tory for re­la­tions be­tween the two re­gions for the next three years.

“Tomorrow’s sum­mit will re­view progress made in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of de­vel­op­ments made at the last sum­mit in 2013.

“Some of these re­late to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of projects and re­sources made avail­able. The sum­mit will look at the next three years ahead of the next meet­ing that will be held in Saudi Ara­bia in 2019.”

Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi said the sum­mit was ex­pected to adopt three new res­o­lu­tions to en­hance re­la­tions be­tween Arab na­tions and Africa.

“Three doc­u­ments are ex­pected to be ap­proved at the sum­mit. The first is the Malabo Dec­la­ra­tion, which is to do with the po­lit­i­cal is­sues. The sec­ond is a doc­u­ment in sol­i­dar­ity with Pales­tine.

“The third doc­u­ment will be by Heads of States and Govern­ment to the two sec­re­tar­iats of the Africa Union Com­mis­sion and Arab States of the work that they are ex­pected to do be­tween now and 2019. The pro­gramme will be ap­proved by a meet­ing of the Min­is­ters of For­eign Af­fairs and Min­is­ters of Fi­nance to be held within the next six months.”

Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi said to date, Zim­babwe has ben­e­fited from a $3 bil­lion kitty that was availed by the Kuwait State for de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives in Africa.

Un­der the fund, $35 mil­lion has been ear­marked for a citrus farm­ing project in Mata­bele­land South, while $1 mil­lion has been pro­vided for the con­struc­tion of two hos­pi­tals.

Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi said there was po­ten­tial to fur­ther de­velop re­la­tions with Kuwait and other Arab coun­tries.

“The po­ten­tial is there. What is re­quired now is to cul­ti­vate that po­ten­tial be­cause so far, this in­vest­ment has been by the Govern­ment of Kuwait, but we would want to see more pri­vate com­pa­nies in the Arab world come to in­vest in the var­i­ous ar­eas of our econ­omy,” he said.

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