AFRICANGLOBE – Zimbabwe a visionary leadership whose ideas are now being copied by the Western world like the Look East policy, says Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Indonesia and Singapore, Ambassador Alice Mageza.
“Zimbabwe is blessed to have a visionary leadership. When we opened an office here in 2004 it was through the Look East policy spearheaded by President Mugabe. It is interesting to note that the west is now looking east when we had long looked east.
“Asia is the continent of the century. Things are happening here. Their economies are growing. There are a lot of business lessons that Zimbabwe and Africa can get from Asia.
“As you are aware our presence here has helped in building a strong foundation for our relationship with Asia which dates back to 1955 when Asia and African countries came together to say no to slavery and colonialism. This is the same spirit which saw Zimbabwe fighting for its independence,” she said.
Ms Mageza said Zimbabwe should take a leaf from Singapore and utilise its vast human resources base to revamp its economy.
“Singapore has fully utilised its best asset, which is the human resources. The country is an education hub just like our country Zimbabwe and we should follow the same route Singapore took in fully exploiting its human resources base. Singapore is a small country without natural resources, but one of the fastest developing economies because of its effective use of available resources.”
Ambassador Mageza said it was important Zimbabweans to change their mindset and work towards the successful turning around of the country’s economic fortunes.
“Zimbabwe was known for being a nation of hard workers, but that spirit seems to be deserting our people. This was well pronounced during the Inclusive Government era and we cannot move forward if we are not patriotic. We should be a disciplined lot and results-orientated,” she said.
Ambassador Mageza said she was working hard to convince Asians to contribute to the agriculture sector through contract farming.
“There is shortage of food here and we are trying hard to have them come on board and engage our farmers on contract basis. The challenge is on farmers to tap on vast opportunities on the global market to market their goods. We have gone through a hard patch as a country. Every Zimbabwean can make a difference.
“We are lucky to have natural resources which some people will kill to have them, but we are not utilising them. I met an ostrich farmer in Indonesia who told me that Zimbabwe has the best land and climate for ostrich breeding and these are the opportunities which we should grab.
“Our tobacco and cotton is of world class. We should be proud of what we have, but it is shocking to note that negative reports come from our own people. Why can’t we go out and market our country? No country is 100 percent united, but we should speak with one voice when it comes to economic development,” she said.
By: Cletus Mushanawani