Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Zimbabwe Testimony of SADC's Strength

Zim testimony of Sadc’s strength

Courtesy of the Zimbabwe Herald

Sadc and the African Union successfully played midwife to the Global Political Agreement that gave birth to the inclusive Government in Zimbabwe.

Through the mediation of South African president Jacob Zuma, they have nursed the inclusive Government and encouraged it to grow into what it is today. What former SA president Thabo Mbeki worked to achieve is reaching fruition as the parties are very close to agreeing on almost everything.

This is a remarkable achievement for a government made up of parties with different ideological persuasions. They generally ought to work together and still be able to disagree on some of the issues without necessarily falling apart. This is what Zimbabwe has been able to do in the last year or so.

Fully aware of the effect of an unstable Zimbabwe on the region, Sadc has worked tirelessly to get Zimbabwe’s political leaders to bury their differences. Sadc has just concluded its summit in Windhoek, Namibia, where it expressed satisfaction with the progress the inclusive Government has made.

This is a view that is shared not only by the people of Zimbabwe but also the entire region and continent. How we wish the rest of the world, especially Europe and the United States, would take a cue from Sadc and support the work that is going on in Zimbabwe.

Sadc has once again made it clear that sanctions on Zimbabwe must be lifted to allow the economy to recover. This is what is in the best interests of the people of Zimbabwe and the entire region. Once Zimbabwe’s economy starts ticking, the Sadc region will be much stronger than it is now.

We therefore welcome the pledge by Sadc leaders to not only campaign for the lifting of the economic sanctions but to also help Zimbabwe rebuild its economy. They can do this through making available lines of credit. Some like Botswana and South Africa have previously pledged financial support, which is what Zimbabwe desperately needs.

Reports that Zimbabwe’s agriculture is growing at a rate of about 19 percent per annum is good news for the region. Surely Zimbabwe is inching towards being the bread basket of the region again. Were it not for the sanctions and had enough financial support been made to the new farmers, Zimbabwe’s agriculture would have recovered at a faster rate.

A boom in agriculture will also provide the necessary raw materials for the manufacturing sector to attain peak performance. Already, most of industry is now averaging 60 percent capacity utilisation. This is good for Sadc and also for Comesa, which Zimbabwe presently chairs.

It would therefore appear that sanctions are meant to stifle this progress, lest Zimbabwe’s land reform programme proves to be a huge success worth emulating elsewhere. By destabilising Zimbabwe’s economy, Europe and America are also undermining the entire region and bringing uncertainty to its people.

This year, Sadc celebrates its 30th anniversary and can rightfully take pride in how it has worked to resolve its challenges. From Lesotho to Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo to Zimbabwe and beyond, Sadc has overcome every challenge that has beset it.

We are confident that it will also be able to find a solution to the political crisis in Madagascar. The summit noted that the commitment shown by Zimbabwean leaders should serve as an inspiration to the principals in Madagascar that they too can resolve their differences.

The strength of the African Union is in its regional blocs and Sadc stands tall as one of the regions that have contributed to the cohesion of the continent. It has great potential to emerge as the supreme economic bloc on the African continent as it is endowed with precious minerals and rich agricultural land. Its human resources have been a pillar of its development.

As it looks beyond the 30 years of existence, Sadc needs to now consolidate its Free Trade Area, work towards the customs union by next year and the monetary union by 2018.

A region free of conflict can attain these objectives and much more.

1 comment:

Ian mooler said...

My I take this opportunity to thank you Mr.Mbeki for job well done in Zimbabwe. You successfully organise the best ever Soccer World Cup in SA but the current state looters failed to acknowledge your sterling work.I am 100% sure that history will give you A's in your work for making this continent a better place.We thank GOD for you and some of us, we are blessed to be led by you in our lifetime,again Zizi may GOD give you strength in your work to make Africa a better place and piecefully continent.