Let’s focus on trade, beneficiation: President

Source: Let’s focus on trade, beneficiation: President | The Herald June 1, 2016

From Hebert Zharare in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
President Mugabe has challenged African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of nations to focus on trade, investment promotion, beneficiation of natural resources and capitalise on its numerical strength to economically empower its citizens.

In his address at the official opening of the 8th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government here yesterday, President Mugabe said it was time for the 79-member bloc to wean itself from donors and pursue sustainable home-grown funding mechanisms.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Mr Peter O’Neill officially opened the summit.

“We believe that focusing on trade, investment, industrialisation, and adding value therefore to our raw products, development co-operation, science and technology, and research and innovation, will help the ACP to capitalise on its numerical strength and geographical spread in promoting equitable and sustainable development for the benefit of our people,” President Mugabe said.

“The fight to eradicate poverty remains protracted, daunting and demanding that we all marshal our actions towards the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030.”

President Mugabe, who was representing Africa at the meeting, said as ACP members geared themselves for a new dispensation after the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020 that dictates relations between the group and the European Union, there was need for redefinition of the goals.

“Your Excellencies, the new ACP post-2020, should buttress our regional integration efforts by actively recognising and supporting the role and objectives of the regional economic communities (RECs) in the furtherance of sustainable development, co-operation and dialogue. In pursuit of the latter, the ACP seeks to adhere to the principles of solidarity, complementarity, and proportionality vis-à-vis the RECs, which are the invaluable building blocks towards sustainable development,” he said.

He said the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) which were negotiated with the EU should reinforce, not negate, regional integration in the ACP.

He said EU development finance had constituted a critical lifeline of the ACP-EU partnership for over 40 years, but had, regrettably, created a typical “donor-recipient” relationship.

He said the region continued to produce and export primary products, adding that value addition would help countries generate more resources.

“While we are appreciative of such provided financial support, we have continued to receive from our EU partners, it has increasingly become clear that financial self-sufficiency should be our new modus operandi, as we drive our efforts towards the mobilisation of our resources, aimed at a more robust and beneficial development thrust, prioritising our collective interest as developing countries,” he said.

“… this summit should commit itself to gradually weaning the ACP from development aid. Cognisant of the reflections that have already been done by the Council of Ministers on the funding of the new ACP, I nevertheless believe that the Summit should mandate our Ministers of Finance to further reflect and elaborate on funding options for the new organisation.

“Our ACP regions are endowed with a vast array of natural resources – flora and fauna, diamonds, gold, platinum, oil, marine life, land and highly educated citizens, yet we remain on the margins of the value chains. We cannot continue to be spectators while our primary commodities are driving an economic boom in the North and West.”

He said peace and security in the pursuit of sustainable development was critical.

The ACP-EU was established 41 years ago after the signing of the Georgetown Agreement by which the relationship with the European Union were created.

This gave birth to the largest inter-continental body of developing countries whose vision then was to enhance the political identity of the ACP Group, to enable it to act and speak with a united voice in all international fora, and to contribute towards the realisation of a new, fairer and a more equitable world economic order.

During the Summit, Equatorial Guinea, which was the president of the 7th ACP Summit, handed over reins to Papua New Guinea that will preside the 8th ACP Summit.

Leaders who addressed the Summit, held under the theme “Repositioning the ACP Group to respond to the Challenges of Sustainable Development,” underscored the need for the organization to fight poverty, climate change that was causing drought and floods and to ensure beneficiation of natural resources among other issues.

The summit, which was attended by one head of State, eight Prime Ministers and several high ranking officials from the ACP member countries, started on Monday and officially ends today.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    Sharing his experience as the leader of a dynamic virile economy.

  • comment-avatar

    in their lives, both Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy sought to align their lives with their professed beliefs. They saw that the difference between what people professed to believe and what they actually did in their own lives, was at the core of human discord and human suffering.

    nowhere is this discord more clearly reflected in mr mugabe who talks endlessly about equitable economic empowerment and eradicating poverty, yet presides over an insanely corrupt government and a nation facing widespread starvation. at the age of 92, he refuses to hand over power.

    surely this man will be tried for crimes against humanity, even after his death.

  • comment-avatar
    Zambuko 6 years ago

    Grace.

    Robert?

    Do as I say not as I do.

    Yes dear.

  • comment-avatar
    Zambuko 6 years ago

    Grace.

    Robert?

    What is a credibility gap?

    That period of silence between the time you stop speaking and they start to clap.

    Very funny.

  • comment-avatar
    Zambuko 6 years ago

    Grace.

    Robert?

    When did I say “It may be for long but it won’t be forever”.

    Not yours, Marley.

  • comment-avatar
    IAN SMITH 6 years ago

    Bobs madness

    “We believe that focusing on trade, investment, industrialisation, and adding value therefore to our raw products, development co-operation, science and technology,”

    How ever the science and technology is the realm of foreigners whom we despise.
    “The only white man you can trust is a dead one”, then we wear his clothes, ride his cars air craft and speak his language.
    Bob deliver your speech in Chinyanja, Chiyao, Chitumbuka, Chisena, Chilomwe, Chitonga or shona see how that goes over you silly Malawian???