Re-engagement allowed Zimbabwe to win back old friends as EU announces €400m facility, says ED
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says re-engagement has allowed Zimbabwe to win back old friends and partners lost over the years for various reasons.
He made the remarks in his weekly column in The Sunday Mail yesterday, saying improved relations with the European Union (EU) have opened a new chapter that has seen the country receiving US$47 million in aid for the Health Ministry and funding for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). He said:
Only last week, the EU bloc launched its “Team Europe”, a new rubric under which the 27 countries comprising the bloc will coordinate and consolidate relations with us, this time through Government, and in line with, and in support of our priorities under Government’s National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
This is the first time that the EU has disbursed directly to Zimbabwe through structures of our Government.
All along, relations were being conducted asymmetrically and unconventionally through non-governmental organisations.
The bloc has already announced a €400 million facility to run for the next couple of years, including to the private sector through its European Investment Bank (EIB).
Over and above releasing US$47 million to our Ministry of Health and Child Care, and to our Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) only last week, the EU has pledged to support our programmes under NDS1, focusing on two critical areas of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, and that of Greener and Climate Smart Agriculture.
Who would have dreamt of such significant practical interventions by the European bloc only a few months back?
I want to acknowledge and applaud the salutary role played by the new EU Ambassador, His Excellency Jobst von Kirchmann.
It was only recently, on October 12, 2022, that I received him at the State House.
Zimbabwe embarked on an engagement and engagement agenda in 2017 when Mnangagwa ascended to power, close to two decades after cutting ties with the West.