Government will prioritise rejoining the Commonwealth as a launchpad to unlock international goodwill and sustain re-engagement milestones already realised through resumption of political dialogue with international blocs such as the European Union.
It is envisaged that rejoining the Commonwealth will fast track the resolution and ratification of outstanding Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements, as well as launch bids to host internationally accredited global events and conferences.
This is contained in the National Development Strategy 1 launched by President Mnangagwa last week, a five-year economic blueprint set to replace the Transitional Stabilisation Programme that will end next month.
“In line with aspiration of Vision 2030, Government through NDS1 will accelerate engagement and re-engagement process aimed at reintegrating Zimbabwe into a favourable global position,” reads the document.
“Government, through NDS1, will implement the following strategies for improved international relations bolster and consolidate existing relations with Sadc countries, the African Union, BRICS and its traditional friends, continue to engage and re-engage international community and prioritise rejoining the Commonwealth as a launch pad to unlock international goodwill.”
Other strategies include organising trade, tourism and investment missions to and from targeted markets, accelerate domestication of outstanding trade and economic cooperation agreement and implement market access commitments, build a robust and vibrant diplomatic corps with requisite capacity to represent the country in foreign missions.
It will also accelerate, rationalise and streamline diplomatic missions, develop and implement a robust cultural diplomacy policy, guarantee timely payment of international commitments with respect to subscriptions and general capital increase to international organisations.
“During the NDS1 period, Government will implement an international co-operation programme to improve international relations through improving diaspora participation in national development,” reads the document.
There will be a review of the diaspora policy and enact the enabling legislation including the promotion of inside-out or homeland driven diaspora engagement.
Establishment of the diaspora trade and investment frameworks to promote Public Private Partnerships involving diaspora consortiums is another strategy to be implemented by Government.
On agriculture, Government will facilitate access to land and security of tenure and deal with illegal settlements, deforestation and land degradation.
“The NDS1 will institute the following strategies, develop a new land policy that harmonises existing laws (statutory and customary) policies and institutional mandates, reform and restructure Agribank into a Land Bank in order to build confidence in the transferability of tenure systems and enhance the commercial value of the land,” reads the document.
The document notes that the Global Compensation Deed signed between white former commercial farmers and the Government in July this year was testimony to Government’s commitment to respect for property rights in terms of the Constitution.
“As part of the confidence building measures, Government through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement is in the process of regularising tenure for former farm owners who are still operating on the land with and without tenure documents,” reads the document.
“These farmers are being issued offer letters and 99-year leases as security of tenure to enable them to continue operating and contributing to the revival of the agriculture sector.”