Zimbabwe marks 44th independence anniversary amid El Nino-induced drought-Xinhua

Zimbabwe marks 44th independence anniversary amid El Nino-induced drought

Source: Xinhua| 2024-04-18 23:41:45|Editor: huaxia

HARARE, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe on Thursday marked its 44th independence anniversary at Murambinda Growth Point in Manicaland Province.

Located in the eastern part of the country, Manicaland is one of the provinces that bore the brunt of the liberation struggle that ushered in Zimbabwe's independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

In his speech, President Emmerson Mnangagwa reiterated the government's commitment to addressing food shortages due to an El Nino-induced drought, and to vigorously pursuing national development goals to upgrade Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

"The freedom we enjoy today is priceless and irreversible. On this special day, let us once again make a pledge and promise to stand firm and resolute in defense of our rich liberation heritage. The values that saw us attain freedom, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence must be promoted for the realization of Vision 2030," Mnangagwa said.

He said after recently declaring the drought a state of disaster, the government started to give special attention to mitigating the impact of the drought.

"This year's commemorations come on the backdrop of the climate change-induced El Nino drought. It is the worst drought in 40 years, which is affecting the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. In both rural and urban areas, no Zimbabwean will succumb to starvation. Adequate resources are being mobilized toward national food security," he said.

The country's food deficit mitigation program is gathering pace while a robust winter cropping program and the revival of winter maize projects in the country will be implemented this year as part of drought mitigation measures, Mnangagwa said.

He said the recently launched gold-backed currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), is expected to boost national confidence and withstand attacks from the country's detractors.

"Our ZiG currency is anchored by our God-given gold and other strategic mineral resources, as well as foreign currency reserves. This is our currency; we all have a duty to support this transformational development. Further, measures to encourage savings and reduce excessive bank fees and charges have also been put in place," he said.

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing illegal sanctions, and other shocks, Zimbabwe continues to foster investment-led economic recovery, with the overall economic outlook remaining bright as evidenced by the growth in the country's GDP from 16 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 to more than 47 billion dollars at present, Mnangagwa said.

"This shows that we ... are a resilient, focused, determined and hardworking people. Zimbabwe is winning. We are boldly building, governing and praying for our country, brick by brick, stone upon stone and step by step," he said.

He added that investment-led growth was being registered in the mining sector, buoyed by expanding lithium mining and recent discoveries in oil, gas and petrochemicals in the country.