The Sunday Mail
GOVERNMENT remains committed to pursuing its policy of re-engagement with erstwhile adversary nations while continuing to build strong alliances with friendly states in order to position the country in its rightful place in the community of nations, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Fredrick Shava, has said.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail after his inaugural interface with editors from local and international media organisations in Harare on Friday, Ambassador Shava, said the country was pursuing readmission into the Commonwealth as part of the re-engagement process.
He said he will build on the progress made by his predecessor, the late Dr Sibusiso Moyo, who steered Zimbabwe’s foreign policy since the coming in of the New Dispensation in 2017 up to the time of his death earlier this year.
“We are very committed and we are still pushing to re-join the Commonwealth and other international blocs that we had left or did not enjoy good relations with in the past,” said Ambassador Shava.
“But we are not desperate, it’s a bilateral process which requires effort from both sides and we are doing this in a true spirit of friendship.
“He (Dr Moyo) had made a lot of progress and we are obviously building on his wonderful work going forward and we see you members of the media as partners in this endeavour.
“I am hopeful that together we will be able to correctly and rightly re-position our country within the broader community of nations.”
Spelling out his vision, Ambassador Shava said his immediate objective was to strategically position the Foreign Office to contribute to the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
“In broad terms, the Ministry’s strategies will include, but not be limited to increasing global visibility, building strong alliances at both bilateral and multilateral levels and boosting attractiveness by building a positive image to the outside world,” he said.
“Zimbabwe needs to reclaim its pole position of contributing significantly to intra-Africa trade.
“To achieve this, we will need to tap into the preferential market access opportunities we have in Africa under SADC, COMESA, the Tripartite Free Trade Area, and the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“We also need to fully take advantage of duty-free access to markets in Europe and the United Kingdom.
“Focusing on export growth will enable us to offset the negative impact of sanctions to a greater extent.
“The 10 percent annual growth in exports that had been set before the coming in of Covid-19 can still be achieved at sectoral level. As such, the Ministry will support ZimTrade to achieve that.”
Speaking at the same event, the chairman of the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef), Dumisani Muleya, said the Ministry’s decision to engage the media was a “positive narrative”.