Zimbabwe Seeks to Boost Economic Ties with Saudi Arabia

President Mnangagwa attends the first-ever Saudi-Africa summit in Riyadh

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to attend the first-ever Saudi-Africa summit, hoping to attract investors from the oil-rich kingdom to his country. Several cabinet ministers and senior government officials accompany Mnangagwa.

From November 10 to 12, the summit aims to strengthen cooperation and partnership between Saudi Arabia and African countries in various fields, such as trade, investment, energy, agriculture, mining, security and culture. More than 40 African leaders and representatives will participate in the event.

According to Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava, the president’s visit is critical as it will enable investors from Saudi Arabia to explore vast investment opportunities in Zimbabwe, especially in mining, ICT and agriculture.

Shava said Zimbabwe’s economic and diplomatic offensive has yielded results and cited the example of the United Arab Emirates, where Zimbabwe participated in the Dubai Expo 2020 and increased its trade volume.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s third-largest oil producer and exporter, controlling the world’s biggest oil reserves. The kingdom is also a major investor in Africa, with $500 million worth of deals expected to be signed during the summit.

The Saudi Fund for Development, which provides loans and grants to developing countries, has supported more than 400 African water, roads, schools and health facilities projects. The fund also announced a $1 billion initiative to support development projects in Africa, focusing on industry, finance, agriculture, fishing, mining, transportation, regional security and energy.

Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia have agreed to open embassies in their respective capitals, Harare and Riyadh, to deepen economic and diplomatic relations. The two countries also share common views on regional and international issues, such as the need for peace and stability in the Middle East and Africa.

Zimbabwe is seeking to revive its economy, which years of sanctions, hyperinflation, currency instability and power shortages have battered. The country aims to achieve an upper-middle-income status by 2030 under President Mnangagwa’s vision of transforming the economy through value addition, diversification and improving the business environment.

Source:  The Herald

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