Kudzanai Sharara in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
UNDERPINNED by ambitions to engage and re-engage the international community in pursuit of socioeconomic development, President Mnangagwa, is in Equatorial Guinea for high-level discussions covering various topics as both countries target accelerated growth across multiple sectors of their economies.
The visit, which is part of President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement drive, saw the signing of a number of
memoranda of understanding (MOUs) in various sectors of the economy.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, President Mnangagwa said the two leaders are “determined to deepen and consolidate relations between the two countries going forward”.
He said Zimbabwe was born out of the liberation struggle and hence will forever practise Pan Africanism.
He also spoke about the genesis of sanctions, which came about following the implementation of the land reform programme.
“We didn’t have a formula of getting stolen land from thieves, so we used our domestic resources. So we decided to take our land.
“As a result, sanctions were imposed on us.”
He said even though the economy and the currency faced some challenges, the people remained resolute.
He praised Finance and Economic Development, Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, for steering the economy towards a growth trajectory.
President Mnangagwa said the two countries, as Pan Africanists, should “share what we have in terms of skills and resources”.
On his part, President Mbasogo said the global south to south is “our only hope in Africa”.
“As Africans, we should not expect anything from nobody,” he said.
“The resources of this country must not only belong to the people of Equatorial Guinea but to other Africans.”
Speaking ahead of the signing ceremony, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava, said there were six MOUs signed in total and these include “reciprocity in visas, and cooperation in sectors such as tourism, mining, and agriculture”.
Minister Ncube added that the agreements will also include one on “investor protection in form of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA)”.
President Mnangagwa arrived in Malabo yesterday and was received by Manuela Roka Botey, Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea. The President immediately went into high-level talks with his Equatorial Guinea counterpart, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, with the aim of improving the two countries’ ties.
On arrival, President Mnangagwa immediately went into a briefing session at the Colinas Boutique Hotel with Zimbabwean officials based here including Zimbabwe Ambassador to Nigeria Maxwell Ranga, businessman Mr George Manyere and Zimtrade chief executive officer Mr Allan Majuru who flew in from Iran.
Ambassador Ranga also covers Equatorial Guinea.
Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea enjoy warm relations and in 2004 the southern African country played a pivotal role in foiling the coup d’état attempt in Equatorial Guinea, which was plotted by Simon Mann and his contingent of mercenaries. The two countries have maintained strong relations eversince.
President Mnangagwa was last here two months ago when he attended the official inauguration of President Mbasogo, who romped to victory during the November 2022 hamornised elections.
Part of the Zimbabwe delegation is Minister Ncube, Minister Shava, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet George Charamba and Finance Secretary George Guvamatanga.
Also on the delegation is businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Christopher Mugaga.
The state visit could not come at a better time for both Zimbabwe , and its growing economy, and Equatorial Guinea, which is taking strides towards becoming a regional energy hub.
Zimbabwe , for its part, has put in place an ambitious economic development plan NDS1, targeting long-term and sustainable growth on the back of key sectors including mining and agriculture.
After the signing ceremony, President Mnangagwa and his delegation was treated to a State Banquet by his host at the People’s Palace.
Today, President Mnangagwa is expected to visit places of interest in Malabo City, including La Paz Hospital and Punta Europa (oil facilities).
He will then depart from Malabo to the City of Djibloho, for before attending a dinner hosted by the Mayor