Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
There is need to revive the waning influence of the Non-Aligned Movement and transform it into an economic powerhouse where member countries trade their beneficiated products among themselves, President Mugabe has said. He said the unity among NAM member countries should form the basis upon which they would contain the dominance by the European Union and the United States, which was on the “rampage” across the globe, bullying smaller nations.
President Mugabe, who is also Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said this yesterday while giving a keynote address at the 3rd International Workshop on Mineral Processing and Beneficiation in Harare.
The event was organised by the NAM Science and Technology Centre, together with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.
President Mugabe said NAM played an integral role in the global political discourse in bringing peace during the Cold War that pitted the Soviet Union and the United States.
“The activities and vitality of NAM seem to have subsided politically and this is what is worrying us at the moment,” said President Mugabe.
He said the presence of Soviet Union restrained the West from their “rampage”.
“If we now can bring ourselves together through trade, beneficiation, adding value to our products, doing it internally, in our domestic environment then we become linked as NAM,” he said.
President Mugabe commended the centre for coming up with a platform where NAM member countries could exchange information in the spirit of the South-South co-operation.
He said the establishment of the centre was a fulfilment of what was envisaged by founding members of NAM like former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and son Rajiv Gandhi, among others.
“We did not have a centre where we could even exchange information about ourselves, what we are able to do, what we trade in, the statistics, we then established a South-South centre in Geneva to keep information,” he said.
President Mugabe took time to chronicle the establishment of NAM, the road it has travelled including the hosting of the 1986 of a summit.
NAM Science and Technology centre director Professor Arun Kulshreshtha, said it was important that Zimbabwe joined other member countries in coming up with ways to enhance value addition and beneficiation for the benefit of members.
The four-day workshop also saw President Mugabe offering to host NAM’s science and technology centre on mineral beneficiation.
The President received a floating trophy for being accorded Scientist of the Year status during the event attended by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Dr Olivia Muchena and her deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa and his deputy Fred Moyo.