Peace key to development: President



Felex Share recently in BAMAKO, Mali—
Socio-economic development can only be achieved in countries that have peace and total control of their resources, President Mugabe has said. In his submissions during the closed session of the 27th France-Africa Summit that ended in Bamako over the weekend, President Mugabe said peace, security and development could not be separated.

The summit, which aims to strengthen ties between France and Africa, drew more than 30 African Heads of State and Government and French President Francois Hollande.

“We are cognisant of the strong linkages among peace, security and development. The summit theme (Partnership, Peace and Emergence) embraces our common concerns and aspirations and warrants our continuous attention in the quest to create a stable and conducive environment for socio-economic development in our respective countries.

“The fact that we are gathered here, after the disturbances that threatened the stability of this nation a few years ago, is a demonstration of our confidence in the effectiveness of the peace and security processes undertaken both through regional efforts and international interventions in which the sacrifice of France cannot go unacknowledged,” President Mugabe said.

French soldiers have been in Mali since 2013, to help the conflict-ridden nation push back an Islamist insurgency. The intervention has resulted in a peace deal between the Malian government and Tuareg-led rebels. President Mugabe oversaw the peace deal when he was African Union chairperson in 2015.

The President said to revitalise industries, African countries had adopted an action plan, Agenda 2063 with sadc going further as a regional bloc to adopt an Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.

“These landmark decisions are being domesticated within our countries as we focus on industrialisation, with emphasis on value addition and beneficiation of our natural resources, in order to revitalise our industries, create employment and grow our economies,” he said.

President Mugabe said the endeavours by African Governments however, needed support from the private sector and external partners.

“In my country, efforts are on-going with the goal of creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investments,” the President said.

“Various models, including Public-Private-Partnership and Build-Own-Operate-Transfer are most welcome. Most recently, we promulgated the law governing the Special Economic Zones. Special incentives will apply in order to attract investments in these zones. We are also undertaking other reforms to improve the ease of doing business in our country.”

President Mugabe said Zimbabwe recognised the significant contribution of small and medium sized enterprises in building the economy.

“The potential for that sector to expand is enormous, if it is given the requisite assistance in the form of capital injection, transfer of appropriate technologies, innovation strategies and the setting-up of incubation centres,” he said.

“We invite France to support and participate in capacitating these future growth engines. We and France can both prosper in such win-win economic cooperation.”

President Mugabe said as African countries, they welcomed France’s position on the United Nations Security Council reform. France supports the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats and takes into consideration the need to address the injustice felt by African countries.

“Nevertheless, we call for progress in the long-running negotiations on this critical issue,” President Mugabe said.

“Let me reiterate that the African position, which is contained in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration, remains unchanged since its reaffirmation at the last African Union Summit in Kigali.”

The two-day Summit, co-chaired by Mr Hollande and Malian leader Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, ended with the adoption of resolutions dubbed the Bamako Declaration.

The declaration lays down measures to be adopted in order to consolidate peace and security on the continent. Among other resolutions, the leaders agreed to work together in fighting terrorism and trafficking.

Having assessed various measures being taken to combat the threat of terrorism in the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin and North Africa, the leaders expressed satisfaction with work being done and also acknowledged support being rendered by the French Government.

In line with the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, the leaders expressed concern with the increased phenomena of violent radicalisation.

They said there was need to deal with the root cause of the challenge. The parties committed to combine efforts in ending trafficking networks to starve sources funding terrorist activities.

Article Source: The Herald