Nyore Madzianike Manicaland Bureau
THE Republic of Ghana has expressed its willingness to strengthen and extend trade relations with Zimbabwe saying more should be done to improve private-public partnerships between the two countries. Ghana’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Eric Odoi Anim said his country was more than willing to establish and extend cooperation in education, mining, research and tourism sectors.
Ambassador Odoi Anim said this when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba at her offices and extended his commiserations with Cyclone Idai victims.
“My visit was basically part of a series of initiatives to take our cooperation which has hitherto been in the political arena to an economic level,” he said.
“The leadership of the two countries, Ghana and Zimbabwe, have indicated their determination to uplift the livelihoods of their people and they can only do this by deepening the economic relations that exist between us.
“By calling on the minister, we wanted to express our sympathy because we are concerned about the devastation that was brought about by Cyclone Idai and we want to share our experience in disaster management.
Ambassador Odoi Anim said his country was looking for exchanges in trading practices and experiences.
“In Ghana we look for situations where we can always share experiences. The idea is not for Zimbabwe to teach Ghana or Ghana to teach Zimbabwe, but to share best practices, share experiences and possibility of increasing institutional framework within which these elements of cooperation would be well controlled and guided and have a good measure of legality,” he said.
Ambassador Odi Anim said there was need to empower the private sector and create a conducive business operating environment that allows them to contribute positively to the national output. He said they would find time to visit Chimanimani so that they could appreciate the extent of damage and see how they could assist.
“We must work with our private sectors. We need to develop, empower and make it possible for them to be positive contributors to the national economy.
“We want to share experiences in private sectors of our respective countries. We are looking at twining of cities so that our cooperation cascades from the bureaucratic level down to the grassroots. We should start from a small point and our horizon will expand from that,” he said.
Min Gwaradzimba, who briefed Ambassador Odi Anim on the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai and the need for more assistance to the victims, said the country was looking forward to opening up new investment opportunities beyond its borders.
She also said the country was also eager to learn how Ghana was transforming the lives of people living in rural areas and implementing its women empowerment initiatives.
“The role that Ghana played in our independence is highly commendable and we are still enjoying the cordial relationship that exist between our countries. We also want to strengthen the bi-lateral economic relations we have that will mutually benefits us all,” she said.