Regional News

Malawi impressed with Zim land reform

Harare July 31, 2012(New Ziana) -Visiting Malawian Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Peter Mwanza on Tuesday hailed Zimbabwe’s land reform program which has resulted in the empowerment of the black majority.
Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform program in 2000 to correct colonial imbalances which saw the minority whites occupying vast tracts of prime agricultural land while the black majority was settled on arid soils.
According to a 2009 report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme, a large proportion of maize and cotton produced in recent years originated from newly resettled farmers.
Speaking to journalists after meeting President Robert Mugabe at his Munhumutapa offices, Mwanza said his country had a lot to learn from Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector.
“It is a fine program because it is empowering Zimbabweans. I have been impressed, it is commendable,” he said.
Mwanza however said it would require some time before Zimbabwe fully realizes the fruits of the program.
He said his country wanted to tap into Zimbabwe’s knowledge in the livestock sector which he described as “vibrant.”
Mwanza said there were also avenues of co-operation in the seed industry which the two countries could exploit.
“We would also like to learn on the mechanization front because Zimbabwe is very advanced in this area and also to collaborate in the seed industry,” he said.
Agriculture Mechanization and Irrigation Development minister Dr Joseph Made said President Mugabe had impressed upon the two Ministers the need for action.
“He emphasized that we should be very practical and get things done,” he said.
New Ziana

South Sudan Minister meets President Mugabe

SOUTH SUDAN MINISTER MEETS PRESIDENT MUGABE
Harare July 31, 2012 (New Ziana) -Republic of South Sudan Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Barnaba Benjamin on Tuesday delivered a special message to President Robert Mugabe appraising  him on the latest in efforts to end conflict between his country and Khartoum.
Khartoum fought a bitter civil war with Southern forces that spanned over five decades ending in 2005 when a comprehensive peace agreement was reached.
A Referendum conducted in January 2010 saw the country splitting into North and South resulting in the South Sudan gaining its independence on July 9, 2011.
Since then the two neighbors have however accused each other of reneging on the peace agreement coming close to war when border fighting escalated in April.
African Union-sponsored peace talks have collapsed over disputed issues including where to mark the border and how much landlocked Juba should pay to export oil through northern pipelines.
The two countries face sanctions from the United Nations Security Council if they do not resolve their disputes by this Thursday, August 2.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Benjamin said South Sudan President Salva Kirr had sent him to brief President Mugabe on the progress made in the peace talks.
“We would like the President to understand the position of South Sudan because Zimbabwe is a member of the African Union peace and Security Council,” he said.
Benjamin said negotiations between the two sides had stalled.
“It seems we are not agreeing and there is a possibility that the AU Peace and Security Council will refer the matter to the UN Security Council.”
Benjamin said issues that had stalled talks included refusal by the north to accept demarcations of the oil rich common border.
New Ziana

Africa urged to develop own technical expertise

AFRICA URGED TO DEVELOP OWN TECHNICAL EXPERTISE
Harare July 25, 2012 (New Ziana) – Africa should develop its own pool of experts in specialist areas to avoid relying on technical assistance from abroad as has been the case for decades, an official said on Wednesday.
Priority areas include sovereign debt, macro-economic and financial management as means to gain sustainable and self-generating capacity.
Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) chairperson and Governor of the Central Bank of Lesotho Adelaide Matlanyane made the remarks at a Fellows Graduation and Accreditation ceremony held in the capital.
Matlanyane said technical assistance in the region had perpetuated and turned into dependency.
“As you may well know, for decades Africa has been grappling with the problem of limited capacity in specialist areas. Long term technical assistance provided from overseas has been perceived as a solution,” she said.
“The coming of institutions such as MEFMI with the approach of empowering member states has helped to reduce dependency on the use of external experts,” she added.
She said investment in human capital development was key to regional self sustenance.
“Without credible human capital there is no development,” she said.
As an institution, she said MEFMI was proud of the declining statistics on the use of internationally recruited consultants.
“During the previous phase that ended December 31, 2011 international experts accounted for only 27 percent of all the resource persons engaged for capacity building activities,” she said.
The MEFMI Fellows Development Programme was conceived as a flagship to address capacity needs of the region through developing local and regional expertise.
The ceremony saw eight candidate fellows who were mostly recruited in 2009 graduating, while three who have been on an apprenticeship programme for the past few years were accredited.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, deputy ambassadors Manuel Vaz Borga Junior and Magbues Calguist from Angola and Sweden respectively attended the ceremony.
Others included embassy officials from MEFMI member countries based in Harare as well as some of the Institute’s Board of Governors.
New Ziana

SADC commerce chambers to attend investment forum in China

SADC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO ATTEND INVESTMENT FORUM IN CHINA
Harare June 5, 2012 (New Ziana) –The Association of Southern African Development Community Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCCI) will next week attend a seven-day trade exhibition and investment forum in China, an official said on Thursday.
The forum, to be held from July 7 to 11, will run under the theme “Africa-China economic partnership for economic growth and long-term prosperity”.
It will be part of events to mark the 19th annual general meeting of the African Export-Import Bank to be held in China.
ASCCI president, who is also the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Oswell Binha, will represent the region at the forum.
In a letter inviting Binha, the Afreximbank said the forum was a platform to present investment opportunities in the region.
“We believe that this forum will provide you a platform to showcase to the trading and investor communities in China, the enormous investment opportunities in Southern Africa, as well as the existing favorable macroeconomic environment and incentive schemes available to investors in the region,” it said.
Afreximbank said the investment forum was a special programme for sub-regional chambers of commerce in Africa to showcase the investment opportunities available in their respective sub-regions and ways of tapping them.
Binha, who was appointed ASCCI president last year, confirmed that he would attend the forum.
The ASCCI was established to encourage governments in the region to formulate policies and legislative instruments that facilitate business operations.
It is also committed to working with all national governments in the 14 member countries, as well as the SADC secretariat in Gaborone, to develop mechanisms that increase the flow of capital and foreign direct investment into the region.
New Ziana

Zim to host Africa dairy farmers conference

ZIM TO HOST AFRICA DAIRY FARMERS CONGRESS
Harare, July03, 2012(New Ziana)-Zimbabwe will next year host the ninth Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association conference and exhibition which more than 300 delegates from 40 countries are expected to attend, an official said on Tuesday.
ESADA chairperson Dr Kipkirui Arap Langa’at said this while addressing the National Association of Dairy Farmers (NADF) annual general meeting in the capital.
The conference, to be held mid next year, comes to Zimbabwe for the first time, and follows previous ones held in Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania.
ESADA was formed in 2004 with the overall mission of increasing trade in dairy products.
Specific ESADA objectives include actively lobbying for an improved policy environment conducive to regional and international trade with the new association already working with COMESA on the regional dairy policy agenda.
Langa’at said the annual congress would enable local and international dairy stakeholders to meet and share experiences. “Dairy has the capacity to increase economic growth and create job opportunities using existing natural resources and linkages through the value chain of the industry.
“Increased dairy production would make a major contribution to food security in Africa particularly protein,” he said.
He said the conference would also highlight opportunities for investment in the dairy sector in Africa with a focus on the host country.
“This will expose African dairy practitioners and suppliers to new technologies and ideas for enhanced competitiveness,” Langa’at said.
“It will also afford African dairy processors, service providers and industry suppliers a unique opportunity to showcase their products for benchmarking and trade,” he said.
Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development head of dairy services Tendai Marecha welcomed the development saying it would be an opportunity to tell the true Zimbabwean story.
“This will provide a window for us to shine as a nation and simultaneously to market, not only our industry, but our country at large.
“We believe this event will, in its small way, help to clear some of the numerous negative perceptions often peddled by some regional and international media,” he said.
New Ziana

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