Southern Africa: Zim, Angola Sign 11 Cooperation Agreements

Africa Moyo — Deputy News Editor

ZIMBABWE and Angola yesterday signed 11 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in various fields including agriculture, higher education, justice and housing, as the two brotherly countries continue to deepen relations.

The MoUs were signed in Luanda, Angola, during the Second Session of the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) between Zimbabwe and Angola, which came 32 years after the last meeting.

The JPCC was attended by senior officials from both countries including Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava, and Angola's External Relations Minister, Tete Antonio.

In his remarks, Ambassador Shava said given the "excellent bilateral relations" that exist between Zimbabwe and Angola, it was only fitting that the two countries further entrench relations through stronger economic cooperation.

"The strong historical ties that date back to our fight for liberation from the colonial (master) Britain, in which Angola gave invaluable support to Zimbabwe, must now be immortalised by strong bilateral trade," he said.

"As I reflect on our historical ties, I must emphasise the role that the legendary Agostino Neto (the first President of Angola from 1975 to 1979) and all the people of Angola played towards Zimbabwe's liberation struggle cannot be emphasised enough."

After Angola's independence in 1975, former President Neto gave sanctuary to Zimbabwean freedom fighters, despite Luanda having its own challenges at that time, from interference by hostile foreign forces. Amb Shava also acknowledged Angola's support and as SADC Chair, towards the removal of all sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

"I also appreciate Angola for the support extended to our candidature to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member for the period 2027-2028.

"It goes without saying, Honourable Minister (Tete), that in Zimbabwe, Africa will have a strong and principled voice in the Council," said Amb Shava.

Zimbabwe and Angola have supported each other in various international fora in which they have taken common positions in promoting peace and security, as well as industrialisation of the region. On cultural exchanges, Amb Shava said he was happy to note the vibrant people-to-people interactions, further strengthening the ties between the two nations and fostering solidarity and shared identity as one people.

"Educational exchanges, joint research projects, and sports competitions have all contributed immensely to enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation," he said.

Turning to food shortages in the SADC region including Zimbabwe and Angola following the lowest rainfall in 40 years, Amb Shava said both governments have taken bold steps to cushion citizens from the effects of the drought.

Amb Shava called for the expeditious negotiation and finalisation of the outstanding MoUs between the two countries, adding that it was his hope that the ministries overseeing outstanding Draft Agreements and MoUs on both sides have taken advantage of the Second Session to find out and address what has been stalling progress in their negotiations. Minister Antonio said the cooperation of Angola and Zimbabwe represents an enhancement of economic relations and diplomatic and political relations between the two countries.

He said with over 10 legal instruments signed, they recommend an oversight mechanism to oversee the implementation of the agreements as well as enhancing the cooperation level with the implementation of a Bi-National Commission.

National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Zhemu Soda and Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Angola, Dr Thando Madzvamuse, were also present.

He also congratulated Zimbabwe for the peaceful general elections held in August last year, which were won by Zanu PF and President Mnangagwa, as well as promoting reforms for the socio-economic development of the country.

Minister Tete condemned the maintenance of the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwean by the West, mainly the United States.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.