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Africa food security hinges on effective land utilisation – President Mnangagwa


Harare, (New Ziana) – Africa needs cooperation and partnerships in agriculture to ensure efficient and effective utilisation of its vast arable land to attain food security, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

Addressing the Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul, Korea, on ‘Strengthening Food and Mineral Security in Africa’ on Wednesday, President Mnangagwa said mineral security also needs similar cooperation and partnerships.

With the 2023 Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition estimating close to one billion people worldwide experienced food insecurity with 324 million experiencing severe food insecurity in 2022, he said the challenge of feeding an increasing population has become a national, continental and global challenge.

Despite Africa being home to 60 percent of the world’s arable land and easily able to become the breadbasket for the world, it also faces food insecurity challenges owing to a wide range of factors, including climate change and unjustified western sanctions in the case of Zimbabwe.

He said Zimbabwe is committed to achieve food security through strategies that include the domestication of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Africa Agenda 2063, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and the SADC and COMESA policy frameworks.

“The abundant sub-soil assets of Africa should drive sustainable development and economic prosperity of the continent even as benefits accrue to those who have developed enough to need Africa resources,” he said, adding that the time has come for Africa to be accorded due status of equal partner to the current global mineral extraction and beneficiation matrix.

“Through the Africa Mining Vision, the continent is accelerating the drive to modernisation and industrialisation leveraging on the diverse resources of the mining sector. Transparency, fairness and accountability remain key to strengthening mineral security in Africa.

“Mining contracts must be fairly negotiated and revenues from mineral resources distributed for the transformation of African economies,” said President Mnangagwa.

“A skewed situation where Africa has nothing but deep pits and degraded land to show for its rich resources is neither attainable nor sustainable.”

He said partnerships with Korean firms to establish beneficiation plants and technology transfer initiatives in Zimbabwe and on the rest of the Continent are welcome with the latter leveraging on Korea’s renowned expertise and rich experience in agriculture and mining development.

He expressed confidence that both parties can achieve food and mineral security, improve livelihoods, and build a prosperous and sustainable future for their people through sharing knowledge and best practices in sustainable and resilient agriculture and mining development.

Other strategies will be through mobilizing resources and investment into agriculture and mining sectors and through building capacity and infrastructure for increased agricultural and mineral production and productivity.

In Zimbabwe’s case, President Mnangagwa said the mining sector contributes over 60 percent of total national exports, with the sector growing from a US$2.7 billion industry in 2017 to US$12 billion last year.

“Zimbabwe is committed to attain mineral security by unlocking the full potential of its mineral resource through sustainable mining practices, use of advanced technology, and effective regulatory frameworks,” he said.

“By ensuring transparent and efficient mining operations, my country has managed to attract foreign direct Investment in the mining sector from across the globe, establish a gold-based local currency, create jobs, especially for young people and attain high-levels of economic growth. My country is committed to mineral value chains through the promotion of value addition and beneficiation of our resources to realize maximum value from our minerals.”

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