In recent years Belarus has advanced a lot in building contacts with Zimbabwe, Head of the Africa and Middle East Office of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yuri Nikolaichik said in a new episode of BelTA's YouTube project “After the Fact: Lukashenko's Decisions”.
“As for cooperation with Zimbabwe, over the past 7-8 years we managed to significantly increase the intensity and effectiveness of bilateral contacts. First of all, this pertains to the contacts at the highest level,” Yuri Nikolaichik said. He recalled that Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa visited Minsk twice, the first time as vice president, and the second time as leader of Zimbabwe. “The agreements reached by the two presidents created a solid foundation for implementing joint projects in this country,” Yuri Nikolaichik noted.
According to him, the most striking example of bilateral cooperation is Belarus' participation in agriculture mechanization effort in Zimbabwe. The Vision 2030 program was launched at the initiative of Emmerson Mnangagwa to mechanize and industrialize Zimbabwe, to raise the quality of education and healthcare, and to improve the living standards of the population as a whole. An important element of the program is improving the efficiency of agriculture and ensuring food security. Zimbabwe has already achieved some progress in this regard. “In 2022, the Zimbabwean authorities announced that the wheat harvest was the highest over the past 50 years, which allowed them to meet domestic demand in full. Right now the second phase of the joint program to mechanize farms is on home stretch. It involves, among other things, the supply of Belarusian equipment. More than 2,000 tractors and other agricultural machines have been delivered lately,” Yuri Nikolaichik informed. During the visit of the Belarusian leader to Zimbabwe, the third phase of the joint program is supposed to start. It will span for two years and provide for more deliveries of equipment.
In addition, since 2020, a service center for Belarusian equipment has been operating in Zimbabwe. It provides maintenance and repairs and trains local specialists.