Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
BRITAIN has pledged to continue supporting Zimbabwe as the country intensifies efforts to reconstruct its green economy in a sustainable manner in line with Vision 2030.
Zimbabwe’s Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) which runs from 2020 to 2050 sets the course for the country to go green, while at the same time ensuring sustainable economic development.
It is based on the Government’s economic planning up to 2050 and covers mitigation measures in the main sectors namely Energy; Industrial Processes and Product Use; Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use; and, Waste.
The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry is working on the establishment of a National Climate Change Funding Mechanism, that will help climate change mainstreaming in planning and budgetary processes at national and sub-national levels by the end of 2022.
Speaking during a tour of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) Railway Museum yesterday, UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Melanie Robinson said Zimbabwe and UK have a shared passion in fighting the effects of climate changes.
“We have a deep history as two countries and we are bonded together because of that history. We have a shared passion when it comes to the railways and, most importantly, the passion to fight climate change,” she said.
“The UK is this year hosting a global conference to bring the world together in trying to work out how we will fight the effects of climate change. President Mnangagwa, in November last year, made a commitment that Zimbabwe wants to reduce its emissions by 40 percent.”
Ms Robinson said Zimbabwe is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
“When I think about Zimbabwe’s future it also fantastic to think about the country as one of the models going forward into a greener way of developing and the railway has to be part of that. NRZ’s vision of having ways that allow commuters move by rail in the cities is a very inspirational and uplifting for the future of Zimbabwe,” she said.
Ms Robinson said her country is also committed to supporting developmental programmes in Zimbabwe as well as promoting trade and investment between the two countries.
“The UK continues to trade with Zimbabwe and through this trade arrangement, we hope to improve and see Zimbabwe’s blueberries and other local products on the supermarket shelves in the UK and British companies investing in Zimbabwe. Similarly, we have significant aid programmes in Zimbabwe and in Bulawayo we are involved in health, education, food security, climate change,” she said.
“We also have a full range of scholarships and people to people relations. We want to see a thriving economy in Zimbabwe.”
Ms Robinson said UK is also committed to supporting economic and political reforms being undertaken by President Mnangagwa.
Radical economic transformation policies adopted by President Mnangagwa at the advent of the Second Republic are beginning to pay off as the economy is stabilising after enduring two decades of poor governance, illegal sanctions and serious natural calamities.
“The UK really wants to help Zimbabwe in supporting the economic and economic reforms. A little over two years ago, I arrived in Zimbabwe and met with His Excellency, President Mnangagwa. I indicated to him that I am here because the UK really wants to help Zimbabwe on the road to a more peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe, which he wanted to create,” said Ms Robinson.
“I therefore want to support the economic and reform programmes that he (President Mnangagwa) set out in his inauguration speech to take the country forward.”
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube commended the UK for supporting programmes in the city.
“UK has been supporting various programmes in the education and health sector in Bulawayo. As Government, we are grateful for that gesture. We have also noted that the use of heavy of haulage trucks in transporting goods is damaging our roads hence it is important to consider looking into the railway systems,” she said.
The UK last recently announced the allocation of an extra US$5,4m funding to feed some of those worst affected by the humanitarian challenges in Zimbabwe, which have been exacerbated by [email protected]