Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
Cabinet yesterday approved the Aid Coordination Policy aimed at ensuring consistency and harmonising activities of development partners, to ensure transparency and that aid is demand-driven.
This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa while briefing journalists on deliberations of Cabinet yesterday in arare.
“Cabinet considered and approved the Aid Coordination Policy as proposed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Professor Mthuli Ncube). The policy emanated from a review of the Development Cooperation Policy and its accompanying Procedures Manual. Furthermore, the policy seeks to ensure consistency in public sector interventions through fostering a collaborative approach between Government and development partners on the issue of development assistance to Zimbabwe,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said key features include harmonising and aligning the programmes of development partners to national development plans; as well as enhancing the transparency and predictability of development assistance. “It also includes eliminating costly parallel management structures through ensuring the use of country systems and institutions by all development partners, refocusing aid from projects to programmes and, ultimately, to Budget support; and ensuring that technical assistance is demand-driven, transparent, sustainable and ultimately creates local capacity.
“The Policy and Procedures Manual will also seek to enhance the sharing of information on development cooperation programmes in the country,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Responding to questions from the floor, Minister Mutsvangwa said the policy will also ensure that there was no concentration of projects in one region or province at the expense of others.
“The Aid Coordination Policy is actually tracking information with development partners. It is critical for every Government to make sure that all development partners that come to the country work hand in glove with Government institutions.
“Zimbabwe is not the only country that works with development partners and we are very grateful that we have development partners in our country,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“The policy wants to improve coordination that is what is critical so if development partners are working in a particular region, we cannot have three or four working in one province when in other provinces there would be nothing happening there.”
In another matter, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had approved a proposal for the quick rehabilitation and development of irrigation infrastructure throughout the country, presented by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.
She said under the proposal, Maka Resources, a local manufacturing company, will partner Government in the development of 100 000 hectares for irrigation within the next three years.
“The facility will cover both new and existing irrigation schemes, and will target the development of 20 000 hectares of communal land and 80 000 hectares of A1 and A2 land.
“The implementation of this programme will increase investment in the irrigation sector, and hence, reduce reliance on rain-fed agriculture,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.