Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent
Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava, who attended the just-ended US-Africa summit in Washington DC, says there is a need to create a platform for regular, robust and mutually respectful dialogue between the United States and Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Shava led a delegation which attended the summit hosted by US President Joe Biden’s administration.
For three days, leaders from across Africa gathered in Washington DC for a summit to discuss issues affecting the continent and relations with the United States government.
Various issues which include food security, climate change and the use of information and communication technology came under the spotlight.
As he summed up Zimbabwe’s participation at the summit, Ambassador Shava spoke on the need for Zimbabwe and the United States to broaden the agenda of their interactions.
“US-Zimbabwe political level interactions are narrowly focused on democracy, human rights and good governance. We need to broaden the agenda of our interactions. Need to create a platform for regular robust and mutually respectful dialogue and cooperation.
“Zimbabwe’s re-engagement strategy dovetails with the Biden administration’s commitment to resetting the US-Africa relationship. It presents an opportunity for the two countries to pursue mutually beneficial partnerships,” Ambassador Shava said.
He said while Zimbabwe remains open for business to the United States and welcomes the launch of the USA Chamber of Commerce in Zimbabwe, the continued imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe constitutes the biggest impediment to achieving mutual cooperation.
The African Union also voiced its concerns on the sanctions on Zimbabwe at the summit, with Senegal President Macky Sall, who is the chairperson of the African Union, calling for the lifting of the illegal embargo during one of the sessions.
“Zimbabwe’s sanctions must be lifted. We are also concerned about the economic bill. Africa is asking why such a bill exists,” he said.
The Second Republic is forging ahead with the engagement and re-engagement drive, premised on the mantra, ‘A friend to all and an enemy to none’.
The re-engagement drive is bearing fruit as Zimbabwe is growing its export receipts by establishing new markets and expanding the already existing ones.
Among the key products being exported to various markets across the globe are horticulture products and minerals.