Fungi Kwaramba Political Editor
AS the continent celebrates Africa Day today, President Mnangagwa has condemned injustices, superiority complexes, and xenophobic elements dogging the world.
In a pre-recorded speech to mark Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on May 25 1963, President Mnangagwa said the continent must always draw inspiration from its founding fathers who came together to forge a broader continental alliance that seeks to advance the aspirations of African people and make Africa and its people, in their diversity, fend for themselves.
“Injustices and all superiority complexes, under any pretext whatsoever, have no place in the world today. We, thus, continue to advocate for equality, dignity, and the inalienable right to chart our own socio-economic developmental path as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
“The principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of our countries must be respected. As the people of this great African continent, we must enjoy the rights guaranteed to each and every citizen of the world.
“Zimbabwe condemns both subtle and brute practices of racism and we call for an end to racial prejudices in all their forms, based on the principles of the fundamental equality of all the races. We are committed to play our part in the world in order to eliminate all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related injustices.”
President Mnangagwa added that despite colonial boundaries that separate Africans, ethnic differences, and varied languages and customs as well as the differences in political and economic realities, the continent remains one.
“We are born of the same African consciousness and remain united towards a common future encapsulated in the African Union Agenda 2063.”
The AU Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into a global powerhouse. It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal of inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the Pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress, and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.
It seeks to prioritise inclusive social and economic development, continental and regional integration, democratic governance, and peace and security among other issues aimed at repositioning Africa to become a dominant player on the global arena.
In this vein, President Mnangagwa said the continental socio-economic and political development trajectory should be anchored on the adage, “African solutions to African problems”.
This year Africa Day is being held under the theme, “Strengthening Nutrition and Food Security on the Continent; Strengthening Agro-food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development”, a theme that resonates with the Second Republic’s thrust of improving the welfare of the populace through development that leaves no one and no place behind.
“Greater efforts must be made for Africa to increase agricultural productivity, upscale the value addition of agriculture products while addressing agriculture infrastructure gaps. Climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as hedging against global shocks remain critical for assured food security in our country and on the continent. We must produce what we eat.
“As such, my Government is accelerating multi-pronged and inclusive programmes with cross-cutting linkages in the agriculture sector, industrial development, climate change adaptation and health, social protection, and human capital development.”
In agriculture, the mainstay of the country’s economy, through President Mnangagwa’s policies, the country has reached food self-sufficiency, while local goods are now dominating shelves in shops as part of the industrialisation process.
To mitigate the effects of climate change, the Second Republic has adopted climate-proofed agriculture through farming concepts such as Pfumvudza, while dams are being constructed to offer irrigation facilities and improve yields.
Africa Day is celebrated across the African continent as well as in the diaspora, offering African countries a platform to gauge their progress in industrialisation, modernisation, and democratisation, themselves pillar policies of President Mnangagwa who has put in place measures that are expected to make Zimbabwe an upper middle-class economy by 2030.
“In unity and singleness of purpose, let us draw from our collective traits as an African people, confident that we are a knowledgeable, competent, industrious people, capable of achieving great exploits. We can build and undertake everything for the growth and prosperity of our countries, cities, industries, mines and agriculture. We are well able and entitled to own and control the rich natural resource endowments in our countries, for a higher quality of life for the peoples of our continent and to build the Africa we all want.
“As we do so, African institutions must be persistently strengthened in the wake of present challenges, threats, opportunities and other global shocks. The ongoing establishment and strengthening of our African institutions to handle African problems is commendable and a declaration of our unwavering unity and solidarity,” President Mnangagwa said.
Zimbabwe is playing its part in the integration of Africa, being part of SADC, Comesa and the African Continental Free Trade Area, a platform expected to promote trade among African countries.
This dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s thrust of creating innovative and incubation hubs that promote competitive local industries and enable Africa to chart its own destiny.
“As Zimbabwe, we are emboldened by the vision of a modern, industrialised, and prosperous African society that effectively plays its part within the comity of nations.
“Zimbabwe applauds the Africa Centres for Disease Control for its work towards mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other diseases on our continent.
“We further welcome the establishment of the African Medicines Agency. The Agency will undoubtedly facilitate quick and reliable access to safe, effective, and quality-assured medicines towards the realisation of universal health coverage for the people of our continent. In the spirit of greater collaboration and the need to address present and future pandemics, my Government stands ready to play its part towards the efficacy of our continent’s health delivery system,” the President said.
President Mnangagwa also called for the operalisation of the African Standby Force to tackle problems such as terrorism that have recently reared an ugly head on the continent.