Pres­i­dent in Mali for sum­mit

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - From Felex Share in BAMAKO, Mali

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe has to­day joined other African Heads of State and Govern­ment in Bamako, Mali, for the 27th edi­tion of the France-Africa Sum­mit. The sum­mit is aimed at strength­en­ing ties be­tween France and African coun­tries. This is the sec­ond time Mali is host­ing the event, hav­ing first done so in 2005. The two-day sum­mit — themed “Part­ner­ship, Peace and Emer­gence”— be­gins to­day with For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ters meet­ing to adopt res­o­lu­tions for on­ward pre­sen­ta­tion to the Heads of State and Govern­ment. The Min­is­ters’ meet­ing will be fol­lowed by a ban­quet hosted by Malian leader Pres­i­dent Ibrahim Boubacar Keita for the Pres­i­dents.

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe has to­day joined other African Heads of State and Govern­ment gath­ered here for the 27th edi­tion of the France-Africa Sum­mit.

The sum­mit is aimed at strength­en­ing ties be­tween France and African coun­tries.

This is the sec­ond time Mali is host­ing the event, hav­ing first done so in 2005.

The two-day sum­mit — themed “Part­ner­ship, Peace and Emer­gence”— be­gins to­day with For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ters meet­ing to adopt res­o­lu­tions for on­ward pre­sen­ta­tion to the Heads of State and Govern­ment.

The Min­is­ters’ meet­ing will be fol­lowed by a ban­quet hosted by Malian leader Pres­i­dent Ibrahim Boubacar Keita for the Pres­i­dents.

Re­ports in­di­cate that the sum­mit agenda will hinge on peace and se­cu­rity, ter­ror­ism, mi­gra­tion, cy­ber-crime, hu­man and drug traf­fick­ing, among other is­sues af­fect­ing France and the African con­ti­nent.

Pres­i­dent Keita and French leader Fran­cois Hol­lande are ex­pected to co-chair the of­fi­cial open­ing of the sum­mit to­mor­row.

The sum­mit will also draw rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Euro­pean Union, African Union, United Na­tions, African Devel­op­ment Bank, World Bank and In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund.

African First Ladies are also ex­pected to hold a side meet­ing to­mor­row look­ing at “pos­i­tive as­pects of our cul­tures and tra­di­tions which favour pro­mot­ing the sex­ual health of teenagers”.

For Zim­babwe, it is the fifth time Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe will be at­tend­ing the France-Africa Sum­mit hav­ing made his first pres­ence at the 1994 gath­er­ing in Paris.

Zim­babwe did not at­tend the 2007, 2010 and 2013 summits, re­ject­ing the in­vi­ta­tions from Paris as they came with un­jus­ti­fied con­di­tions.

The in­vi­ta­tions, whose con­di­tions Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe strongly dis­ap­proved, came at the height of the stand- off be­tween the Zim­babwe and most Euro­pean coun­tries.

The stand-off fol­lowed Bri­tain’s in­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of her bi­lat­eral dis­pute with Zim­babwe af­ter the lat­ter em­barked on a land re­form pro­gramme that ben­e­fited the ma­jor­ity of black peo­ple.

The EU then im­posed il­le­gal sanc­tions on Zim­babwe in 2002 at the be­hest of Bri­tain, a move that sub­se­quently af­fected the south­ern African na­tion’s re­la­tions with France.

Paris, which pur­sued a pol­icy of as­sim­i­la­tion as op­posed to the sep­a­rate devel­op­ment es­poused by Bri­tish colo­nial­ism, is now keen to strengthen re­la­tions with African coun­tries, in­clud­ing Zim­babwe.

To mend its re­la­tions with Zim­babwe, Paris has started warm­ing up to Zim­babwe’s vast in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and has made sev­eral in­vest­ments in the past few years.

In 2014, the French Devel­op­ment Agency ex­tended fa­cil­i­ties to two lo­cal banks worth $20 mil­lion in sup­port of Small to Medium En­ter­prises ( SMEs).

That same year, top French seed com­pany, Lima­grain forged a strate­gic part­ner­ship with Seed Co Lim­ited, a move which has im­proved the op­er­a­tions of Zim­babwe’s big­gest seed pro­ducer.

An­other French yeast man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany, Le­saf­fre Group part­nered lo­cal en­tity An­chor Yeast and formed Le­saf­fre Zim­babwe in a deal worth mil­lions of dol­lars.

In ad­di­tion, an­other French telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany, Sofre­com, has been work­ing with Zim­babwe’s sta­te­owned fixed line op­er­a­tor TelOne to im­prove com­pet­i­tive­ness.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe is also re­turn­ing to Mali hav­ing been there in 2015 as African Union chair­per­son when he over­saw a ma­jor peace deal be­tween the Malian govern­ment and Tuareg-led rebels.

Pres­i­dent Keita re­cip­ro­cated with a three-day State visit to Harare a month later and the two coun­tries agreed to strengthen their ties in var­i­ous eco­nomic sec­tors.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.