The im­pli­ca­tions of re-en­gage­ment to­wards Zim­babwe’s de­vel­op­ment

The Manica Post - - Comment & Feedback - Ishe Don­ald Kamba Makoni

ED­I­TOR — Now that there is talk of re-en­gage­ment, it pre­sup­poses the fact that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity dis­en­gaged with Zim­babwe and it is im­por­tant to es­tab­lish what pre­cip­i­tated a freez­ing of re­la­tions with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

Zim­babwe was slapped with sanc­tions by the above men­tioned trio start­ing in 2001 and 2002 and the Zim­babwe De­vel­op­ment and Eco­nomic and Re­cov­ery Act (ZiDERA) is in­fa­mous for putting a raft of sanc­tions in place with­out the sup­port of the United Na­tions, and this was ex­e­cuted notwith­stand­ing the veto by Rus­sia and China.

These sanc­tions were and are il­le­gal, and, sig­nalled dis­en­gage­ment with Zim­babwe and Zim­babwe has con­tin­ued to scream in so­cioe­co­nomic and po­lit­i­cal terms for any­thing up to seven­teen years now.

While breach of hu­man and prop­erty rights as well as breach of the rule of law were cited for the puni­tive stance taken by the white west, it is com­mon cause that the sanc­tions were in re­tal­i­a­tion for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a land re­form pro­gram that sought to ad­dress the plight of the land­less black pop­u­la­tion of Zim­babwe.

The prej­u­dice of the said trio was backed by their hold on in­ter­na­tional fi­nance and trade; with coun­tries and or­gan­i­sa­tions will­ing to do busi­ness with Zim­babwe dis­cour­aged from do­ing so as any de­tectable fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions were pun­ish­able.

From this perspective, Zim­babwe suf­fered in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion and the need in a new era, un­der Pres­i­dent ED Mnan­gagwa ad­min­is­tra­tion, to re-en­gage is thus im­por­tant and nec­es­sary. It is in the light of the fore­go­ing back­ground that im­pli­ca­tions of re-en­gage­ment must be de­vised in such a way as to be strategic.

Strategic im­pli­ca­tions of re-en­gage­ment to­wards Zim­babwe’s de­vel­op­ment would en­tail some of the fol­low­ing:

1. Tech­nol­ogy trans­fer and ex­change pro­grams that up­grade our in­ter­ven­tion­ist ap­proach to eco­nomic chal­lenges.

2. A buy in that recog­nises the sheer im­por­tance of in­fras­truc­tural growth and de­vel­op­ment as pre­req­ui­sites for in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion.

3. Ac­cess­ing of lat­est tech­nolo­gies in crit­i­cal ar­eas such as

i) Agri­cul­ture that de­fines our devel­op­men­tal base, not­ing that Zim­babwe’s econ­omy is agro based.

ii) Min­ing that is the chief foreign cur­rency earner, with ben­e­fi­ci­at­ing adding value to our min­er­als and met­als.

iii) man­u­fac­tur­ing that of­fers a broad scope of lo­cal­is­ing ex­per­tise at pro­duc­ing fin­ished prod­ucts such as clothes, watches, cell phones, com­put­ers, tools, plant, ma­chin­ery and equip­ment.

4. Tourism is the fastest grow­ing in­dus­try in the world and Zim­babwe would do well to de­velop fur­ther and mar­ket its var­i­ous at­trac­tive ar­eas of re­sort along­side its hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try for do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional tourism.

5. Ed­u­ca­tion and the use to which it is put de­fines the de­vel­op­ment path of the coun­try and Zim­babwe’s out­stand­ing lit­er­acy rate should deepen home grown solutions that can be up­graded through ex­change ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams with the broader world.

6. So­cial con­tract is about up­lift­ing the liv­ing stan­dards of or­di­nary cit­i­zens and re-en­gage­ment in­fers widen­ing of the rev­enue base that in turn would as­sist de­velop in a sig­nif­i­cant way the ru­ral ar­eas where the ma­jor­ity of the im­pov­er­ished pop­u­la­tion re­sides.

There is no doubt that re-en­gage­ment will as­sist de­velop strategic ar­eas that ac­count for self reliance aimed at achiev­ing sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

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