Packed schedule for President in Dubai
Kudzanai Sharara in DUBAI
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa left Harare last night for Dubai where he is expected to join nearly 100 000 delegates including Heads of State and Government at COP28 here, to try and find lasting solutions to climate change.
The number of delegates make this year’s conference easily the biggest such conference in a long time.
COP28 comes at a time little is being done to fulfil promises and commitments made over the years with regards funding climate change or reducing emissions. During his visit here, President Mnangagwa will address the COP28 conference, meet with world leaders, and host a meeting on Climate Smart Agriculture.
His “severely packed” schedule will see him join other leaders for a family photo just before the opening ceremony this morning.
This will be at the conference venue, Dubai’s Expo City, a high-tech green district designed as a model for urban living.
President Mnangagwa will later address the conference, with a National Statement that is likely to focus on loss and damage, with emphasis on impacts of extreme events on Zimbabwe in the recent years.
The issue of just energy transition could also feature as Zimbabwe can showcase the mitigation potential as evidenced by emergency of off grid renewable energy production, climate smart agriculture, among others.
According to the schedule, President Mnangagwa will be the 15th Head of State in the world and 4th in Africa to address the Conference.
Following his address President Mnangagwa will tour the Zimbabwe pavilion before attending a bilateral meeting at the Global Centre for Adaptation. From there, President Mnangagwa could also attend a meeting themed “From Awareness to Action” at the invitation of the Presidents of Spain and Senegal.
The first day will conclude with a gala reception for Heads of State to be hosted by the UAE.
Day two will see President Mnangagwa support his Botswana counterpart President Masisi who is hosting a meeting as chair of land locked countries.
All SADC Heads of State are invited to attend a meeting on Combating Desertification to be hosted by the Namibian President Hage Geingob.
President Mnangagwa is expected to speak at this meeting.
He will later host invited African leaders for a meeting themed “Climate Smart Agriculture” where he is expected to share Zimbabwe’s successes in climate change mitigation and adaptation in the agriculture sector.
Speaking ahead of President Mnangagwa’s arrival, Environment, Climate and Wildlife Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu, who is already here, said among many successes that could have been picked for the President’s session “climate smart agriculture really stood out.”
“The President is impacting rural communities in ways not seen in Africa. We are reaching out to 1,8 million households and beneficiaries in the region of 3 million where we have not only assured food security for our people but they are also now economic participants.
“We felt that we had a good story to share so that it’s not only a success for Zimbabwe but other countries can tap into,” he said.