Economic diplomacy cements Zimbabwe/Botswana relations Madam Sarah Sithabile Molosiwa

Gibson Nyikadzino, Zimpapers Politics Hub

THE economic diplomacy between Zimbabwe and Botswana is thriving and has led to increased trade, regional integration, and the entrenchment of principles that align with the African Continental Free Trade Area.

In an exclusive interview with the Zimpapers Politics Hub ahead of the 61st Africa Day commemorations today, Botswana Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Madam Sarah Sithabile Molosiwa, disclosed that both countries are strengthening their relations.

She said relations between the two friendly neighbours are undergoing great transformation, and that despite illegal sanctions, “Zimbabwe is actually making it”.

This economic diplomacy emphasises the need for partnerships between the two countries, thus reducing reliance on handouts and encouraging independence. President Mnangagwa and President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s excellent cooperation is leading the way in this regard.

“Zimbabwe and Botswana are emphasising the importance of economic diplomacy, hence encouraging partnerships between the two countries. By activating economic diplomacy and trade, it means we are getting ready to be also masterminds within the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” Ambassador Molosiwa said.

The neighbouring country’s envoys said the influence of President Mnangagwa’s philosophy “Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabaninilo” has a similar version in Botswana, which focuses on enhancing self-reliance and the empowerment of young people and rural women in the two countries.

“Gone are the days when we used to rely on Western countries to give us handouts. Gone are the days when we should be crying about sanctions. Sanctions, whether lifted or not, we want to show those who have introduced these illegal sanctions that we are able, capable, willing and we are going to make it. We are making it.

“The two governments must be working hand-in-hand to become regional trade and investment centres. It is possible because we are both endowed with minerals, and Zimbabwe has a highly skilled workforce. Why can we not take advantage of these resources and partner to develop our two countries and penetrate the regional and continental market,” added Ambassador Molosiwa.

The diplomat praised the ongoing partnership with Zimbabwe and promised to continue pursuing many areas of co-operation between the two countries.

“We have had some interaction with the University of Zimbabwe Innovation Hub to acquire machinery that is being fabricated by locals in Zimbabwe and this machinery is supposed to be commissioned to support groups of women in rural areas doing value addition in their projects where they are generating income. Some of these machines that make beverages are already in Botswana to empower women and value-add the chain of their income-generating products.

“I believe that our Governments are working very hard in making sure that the youth, who are our future leaders, are not going to just be given everything on a silver platter, but are meant to be creative with the talents they have. This helps them know that they can positively contribute to the economy.

“Our respective embassies have mandates from our principals to make sure that we articulate ourselves as much as possible towards contributing to the two countries’ transformation,” she added.





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