THE Russia and Ukraine conflict, which has spawned a surge in global food prices and disruption of world markets and supply chains, has been a wake-up call for Zimbabwe on the need to ensure food security, President Mnangagwa has said.
In his weekly column published in our sister paper The Sunday Mail yesterday, President Mnangagwa said a new world order was emerging, and Zimbabwe must respond appropriately and creatively to keep abreast with fast moving global events.
“Foremost, Zimbabwe must be a food-secure nation. This means ensuring our agriculture is modernised through mechanisation for greater efficiencies and productivity. We will not stop at anything to achieve food security for our nation,” he said.
“For that to happen, we need to secure vital inputs for our agricultural sector. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with the resultant turbulence in global food prices, is a wake-up call to us all. Global supply chains both for fertilisers and grains stand imperilled by that conflict situation.”
President Mnangagwa said Russia and Ukraine were big players in the global economy, principally in the key sectors of technologies, agriculture and energy.
“The ongoing conflict between them has reverberated globally, including disrupting world markets and supply chains, all against post-pandemic fragilities already afflicting the world,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe will have to respond appropriately to the developments taking place.
“A new world order is emerging, and Zimbabwe must respond appropriately and creatively, so it is not sidelined or placed on the receiving end of these fast-paced global changes.
Our activities in the past two months, and going forward, should be understood from that broad, regional, continental and global perspective,” he said.
President Mnangagwa noted that Zimbabwe had equally been a victim of unilateralism where illegal sanctions were imposed by the West just as Nato was provocatively making an eastward expansion.
“Zimbabwe, itself already a victim of western unilateralism, is in the full glare of all these global headwinds. Against Nato’s provocative eastward expansion in Europe, and Russian Federation’s robust response to that threat of encirclement by Nato, a new situation has arisen which requires that we re-map the world with a view to finding our own place and securing our interests,” he said.
“Like in the case of Zimbabwe which has endured more than two decades of illegal sanctions, the conflict raging in Eastern Europe has made many nations realise how powerful nations and global interests still function on old and archaic notions of “spheres of influence”, and that they will not hesitate to use unilateral economic coercion to bully independent-minded states unwilling to kowtow to their whims and interests.”
President Mnangagwa said the situation called for great changes where nations engage, reach out for safe and gainful partnerships, transact internationally, relate or submit to global regulatory frameworks and institutions.
“Fortuitously, Africa had a premonition of this meltdown in world affairs, and had already embarked on a robust framework for continental free trade, underpinned by Agenda 2063.
This was a stroke of far-sightedness, indeed a new trajectory which must find justification and impetus in the ensuing global turbulence. Russia and Ukraine, the two nations in conflict, are big players in the global economy, principally in the key sectors of technologies, agriculture and energy,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the fact that Russia was now demanding payment in domestic currency just as China was equally challenging the dominance of the United States dollar demonstrated a shift in the global epicentre.
“The hitherto unchallenged currency and medium of international trade is being shaken as a key global player. Russia, demands payment in its domestic currency. The Chinese yuan is also challenging dominance of the United States dollar. All this points to a shift in the global epicentre,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe has escalated its international engagements consistent with its policy of engagement and re-engagement coupled with its economic policies such as the National Development Strategy 1.
“The changing global situation, which is increasingly being shaped by conflict and unilateralism, enjoins us to look to ourselves, to our region and to our continent primarily.
Beyond ourselves, our region and our continent, we face growing uncertainty which we can only offset through creative and responsive diplomacy,” he said.