EU, Zim dialogue will unlock capital: Analysts

Source: EU, Zim dialogue will unlock capital: Analysts | The Herald June 7, 2019

EU, Zim dialogue will unlock capital: AnalystsSecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador James Manzou (right) chairs the launch of political dialogue between Zimbabwe and the European Union in Harare recently. — (Picture by Innocent Makawa)

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The start of formal dialogue between Zimbabwe and the European Union has potential to unlock the much-needed capital that is required to turn around the fortunes of the economy, political analysts have said.

In separate interviews yesterday, the political analysts also told The Herald that the resumption of formal dialogue in over a decade, was an endorsement of President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement efforts.

The formal dialogue was launched on Wednesday and the two parties agreed to meet twice a year going forward, with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Secretary, Ambassador James Manzou and Head of the EU Delegation Ambassador Timo Olkkonen, chairing the meeting.

Harare Polytechnic lecturer in the Division of Mass Communication, Mr Alexander Rusero described the start of formal dialogue between Zimbabwe and the EU as positive.

“Managing to be on the table with the EU after almost two decades of hostile and demonising relations is perhaps the biggest diplomatic victory that President Mnangagwa has scored thus far,” he said.

“We also have to understand that if Zimbabwe successfully forge a meaningful deal with EU, it will unlock the much-needed capital and in the process resuscitate our economy which is currently under distress. Should Zimbabwe succeed, which is very likely given the sincerity of the two parties to engage, it would follow the successful model of EU-South Africa Trade Development Cooperation Agreement (EU-SA TDCA) which has positively boosted the South African manufacturing sector which has a guaranteed market of its products in all the EU member states.”

Another analyst, Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said policies under the new dispensation were cause for optimism.

“While past experiences have made Zimbabweans pessimistic about efforts to rebuild the burnt bridges between us and the EU, the new dispensation certainly has given a lifeline to mend the strained relations,” said Mr Mureriwa.

“Clearly, individual EU countries have lost much and gained nothing from the poor relations and Zimbabwe’s losses do not mean gain for them either. Sanctions have not and will not reverse the land reform programme. Instead, partnering Zimbabwe in agriculture, mining and manufacturing sectors will yield mutual benefit. Zimbabwe is open for business so should EU countries, singly and collectively. In any case, there is massive global competition for our vast mineral resources. So if the EU comes on board, the merrier it is for Zimbabwe since more demand means greater value for our products.”

South African-based analyst Mr Tinashe Tiki said President Mnangagwa’s efforts were bearing fruit.

“These talks are a testimony that he is serious in his efforts to return the country to the wider community of nations and one hopes the EU returns the favour. The strained relations have not benefited anyone and the commitment of the two parties will certainly result in a successful conclusion of the re-engagement,” said Mr Tiki.