Vusumuzi Dube in Dakar, Senegal
ZIMBABWE’S success story in turning around the agriculture sector got a seal of approval with various African leaders expressing interest in visiting the nation to get first-hand experience on how the Southern African nation is transforming the sector.
The country’s agriculture revolution under the Second Republic saw the nation last year producing the highest wheat yield in 56 years.
There are indications that there could be a surplus for export. In explaining the nation’s success story, during the Dakar 2 Feed Africa Summit that comes to an end today in Dakar, Senegal, President Mnangagwa said it all came down to village wisdom guided by the principle that a nation is built and developed by its own people.
The President’s three-minute presentation saw him raising four thematic areas that had led to the success of the agriculture sector, namely, irrigation, wheat production, fertilizer production and the construction of dams. As he briefly explained each of the points the President got a standing ovation from the 1 500-plus audience attending the summit. Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Senegal, James Maridadi said it was evident that Africa held high the success of the country’s agriculture revolution noting that the nation’s future was bright as it moves towards once again becoming the bread basket of Africa. Mr Maridadi, who superintends five other nations – Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and The Gambia – revealed that after President Mnangagwa’s presentation he was approached by three Presidents from his areas of jurisdiction, all expressing interest to visit the nation.
“We have 17 Heads of state that are attending this summit and if Zimbabwe had not come, this summit would have meant nothing. Zimbabwe has now become the go-to authority in agriculture.
“The video of the presentation by President Mnangagwa at the summit has become so popular and is circulating in the region. The President spoke about four thematic areas on achieving food security in the country and whenever he raised a point there was a standing ovation, there is video evidence to that and I was approached by quite a number of people asking how Zimbabwe is doing it and after his presentation I have had three Presidents from my areas of jurisdiction wanting to visit Zimbabwe to see how agriculture is happening,” said Mr Maridadi.
The ambassador also paid gratitude to the President’s visit to one of his missions saying it was always an honour to have the Head of State visiting. He said the visit was going to go a long way in improving the relations between the country and Senegal.
“Calling the President’s visit to my mission the icing on the cake is honestly an understatement, I wish there was some other superlative to describe this visit. It is always welcome that the Head of State is in your station because basically it is the appointing authority that is coming to see you. So, we are very excited that President Mnangagwa is here in Senegal.
“West Africa and Zimbabwe have not had good relations because of this Francophone dimension, so now that I have been deployed here, we are trying to break those barriers, saying that as Africans we are Africans despite those that colonized us, so the relationship between Zimbabwe and Senegal is very cordial,” said Mr Maridadi.
The ambassador said building from these improved relations the future promised to be bright in terms of relations between the two nations.
“We are going to see a lot of things happening between now and going into the future because the mantra of the Second Republic is that we are friends to all and enemy to none and that is exactly what I came here to do,” he said.