President to address Africa-Arab summit
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.