Zim, Zambia sign trade agreement Minister Mliswa-Chikoka

Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau

TRADE relations and cooperation between Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland West province and the Southern Province of Zambia are set to deepen following the signing of a twinning Memorandum of Understanding.

The agreement is part of concrete steps to implement Government’s devolution agenda, where provinces are expected to build and grow their own Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through localised interventions.

This sets the foundation for region-wide integration in line with the Southern African Development Cooperation (Sadc) and African Union (AU) agenda for promoting an Africa-wide tree trade area.

In her address at the signing ceremony in Livingston, Zambia at the weekend, Mashonaland West Minister of State Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said the agreement would result in socio-economic transformation in the two provinces.

“The fact that we have twinned with the Southern Province is no coincidence as we are also equally seized with an equally game-changing seismic transformation called Devolution.

“In this new organisational philosophy, our President His Excellency ED Mnangagwa has underscored the need for Provinces to become self-sufficient and contribute to the national GDP,” said Minister Mliswa.

She said Government was opening the country for investment and engagement with other countries through the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra and the province was also activating its systems accordingly.

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Southern Zambia Tourism and Investment Exposition held in Livingston, Zambia last week.

Minister Mliswa, expressed Mashonaland West province’s gratitude Southern Province Provincial Minister Edify Hamukale for the invitation to participate at the Zambia Expo and signing of the MoU.

The Zambian Minister and his delegation attended the Mashonaland West Province re-branding and investment conference in Chinhoyi last year.

As a result of the MoU, Minister Mliswa said ministries and local authorities from the two provinces are expected to collaborate while exchange programmes between educational institutions will also be undertaken.

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