Echoes of African voices from the UN

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - COMMENT -

When the 73rd Or­di­nary Ses­sion of the United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly wraps up in New York to­mor­row, the mem­ory of Zim­babwe and its af­fa­ble leader, Em­mer­son Dam­budzo Mnan­gagwa, will re­main etched on the minds of world lead­ers, all for the right rea­sons.

Zim­babwe, small as it is when com­pared to world pow­ers both in terms of geo­graph­i­cal and pop­u­la­tion size, has al­ways been a coun­try that is not easy to ig­nore.

But now with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa as the south­ern African coun­try’s Head of State, the coun­try is slowly turn­ing into a mag­net for in­vestors.

While in pre­vi­ous years, pol­i­tics, dirty pol­i­tics for that mat­ter, had been Zim­babwe’s pre­dictable trump card at such in­ter­na­tional plat­forms, there has been a great shift, a breath of fresh air.

The fo­cus is now on re-en­gage­ment and the econ­omy; it is now on what Zim­babwe can of­fer to the world and vice versa; on how the south­ern African na­tion can har­ness its de­vel­op­men­tal vi­sion with the help of its re­gional and in­ter­na­tional peers.

Pri­or­i­ties are now set on eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, sus­tain­able growth, job cre­ation and in­vest­ment in hu­man cap­i­tal, as tabled out in Zanu-PF’s elec­tion man­i­festo.

Gov­ern­ment, there­fore, has done its part in set­ting the tone and cre­at­ing a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for se­ri­ous in­vestors to thrive.

The world is now ex­pected to de­liver its end of the bar­gain; and de­liver it will.

Of course, naysay­ers have been wait­ing for a slip up.

As Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa joined other Heads of State at the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly last week, the op­po­si­tion, stuck in the old ways of pol­i­tick­ing, even threat­ened to ‘em­bar­rass’ the Pres­i­dent through a demon­stra­tion.

Un­fazed and com­pletely fix­ated on the so­cio-eco­nomic pro­gres­sion of Zim­babwe, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa went on to charm the world.

His mes­sage res­onated per­fectly with the theme for this year’s Gen­eral De­bate, ‘Mak­ing the United Na­tions rel­e­vant to all peo­ple: Global Lead­er­ship and Shared Re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for Peace­ful, Eq­ui­table and Sus­tain­able So­ci­eties’.

It is hoped that the theme will in­spire Mem­ber States to at­tain the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, which are aligned with Agenda 2063 of the African Union, as well as the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) In­te­gra­tion Agenda.

Al­ready, Zim­babwe is well on its way to­wards do­ing that through Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s Vi­sion 2030, which is tar­get­ing to at­tain mid­dle-in­come sta­tus for Zim­babwe in the next twelve years.

The Gen­eral De­bate touched on a wide range of is­sues, in­clud­ing the world’s po­lit­i­cal and so­cio-eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion. This was the per­fect plat­form for Zim­babwe to open her heart and arms to the world, to strate­gi­cally po­si­tion her­self.

Zim­babwe is truly on a path to re­demp­tion.

And it is amaz­ing how much a peo­ple who have their col­lec­tive in­ter­ests at heart can turn around their own for­tune. This was ev­i­dent as African lead­ers un­der­scored their coun­tries’ ef­forts to­wards greater democ­racy and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, with calls for ex­panded mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion and re­forms for the 15-mem­ber Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

The tides are chang­ing for the global econ­omy; and Africa, Zim­babwe in­cluded, is mak­ing great strides to­wards eco­nomic re­vival.

The world can­not af­ford to ig­nore that. Africa’s voice is be­com­ing louder and sooner rather than later, it will be heard.

In ad­di­tion to that, con­sid­er­ing that the UN As­sem­bly is a place where world order is pro­pelled, the world should not turn a blind eye from the pro­tracted con­flicts in Afghanistan, Mali, South Su­dan, Syria and Ye­men. De­ci­sively deal­ing with this will set a firm foun­da­tion for a boom­ing in­ter­na­tional econ­omy.

The mes­sage of peace, greater democ­racy and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment should be able to ex­tin­guish any flames of in­tra and in­ter-coun­try an­i­mos­ity as we ap­proach the new world order.

For Zim­babwe, in­tol­er­ance cer­tainly has no place in the Sec­ond Repub­lic.

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