President Mnangagwa’s address to the second Aswan Forum on Sustainable Peace and Development, hosted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, on Monday, made clear the intention to continue working towards becoming a major player on the global scene once the Covid-19 dust has settled.
Yesterday, President Mnangagwa swore in Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Frederick Shava, who replaces former Minister Sibusiso Moyo who succumbed to Covid-19 in January.
The Second Republic’s foreign policy stance, as enunciated by the Head of State in his maiden address to the nation in November 2017, has been affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic after having initially made massive strides.
However, the President and his Government are already picking up the pace and getting ready for the post Covid-19 years ahead.
Ambassador Shava, a seasoned diplomat and Statesman, has held various portfolios in Government since independence.
He was the Minister of Labour, Manpower Planning and Development from 1981 to 1986 before becoming Minister of State for Political Affairs in 1987.
He also served as Zanu-PF’s Director of Administration before he was appointed ambassador to China where he served from 2007 to 2014.
He was then appointed Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the UN in New York where he was chairman of the United Nations Economic and Social Council on July 28, 2016.
There is a lot of work to do, but Ambassador Shava will be up to the task.
His first assignment will probably be to ensure that Zimbabwe supports efforts by Africa to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Mnangagwa told the Aswan Forum that these efforts include industrialisation, pharmaceutical advancement, improving health infrastructure and financing models.
“Zimbabwe stands ready to support and participate in concrete actions that will help our continent recover better, in the Post Covid-19 Era; towards enhancing sustainable peace and economic growth for Africa,” the President said.
“It is paramount that we relook at our respective national health infrastructure and health financing models. The need to capacitate the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urgent. Accordingly, a review of the Statute founding the Agency must be undertaken in accordance with the decision of the 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments.
“Zimbabwe therefore calls for the urgent implementation of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa, to enable research and the production of drugs on the continent. There is now a more compelling case for our nations within the AU (African Union) to ratify the Agreement for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA).”
After being sworn in at State House yesterday, Dr Shava said he was going to continue working hard on re-engagement and engagement with Zimbabwe’s all weather friends to boost trade relations and promote exports in line with the mantra of the Second Republic.
While the Government’s detractors are burning the midnight oil calling for sanctions and other illegal means of foreign interference in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs, the new Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister will continue from where his predecessor left in terms of making Zimbabwe great again.
Post Covid-19, Zimbabwe’s real potential will be achieved.