Britain says it will create 125 000 jobs in Zimbabwe


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British Foreign Minister William Hague yesterday said his country would create 125 000 new jobs in Zimbabwe over the next four years but said sanctions will continue because political reforms remain slow and politically motivated looting, violence and intimidation continue.

Hague said the European Union had decided to roll over sanctions on Zimbabwe for another 12 months but had removed 51 people and 20 companies from the list.

There were still restrictions on 112 people and 11 companies. The listing of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, which is the main diamond mining company in the country, especially in Marange, will be reviewed in six months.

Hague said Britain is providing 80 million pounds in aid to Zimbabwe this year but this aid is not being channelled through the government.

He said that over the next four years, UK aid will provide almost one million people with clean water and 700 000 women with access to family planning. It will also create 125 000 new jobs and will help 80 000 children complete primary education.

Aid critics have complained that by-passing the government weakens the government and creates loyalty to donors. They have also complained that aid promotes laziness and donor dependency and in most cases benefits the donor countries because donor organisations sources goods that are also locally available from the donor countries.

Condoms being distributed in Zimbabwe were, for example, manufactured in Britain when local pharmaceutical companies had the capacity to manufacture them and had indeed done so before being sidelined in favour of companies from the donor countries.

 

Below is Hague’s full statement:

 

The EU has announced its decision to roll over the Zimbabwe restrictive and appropriate measures. Following an in-depth assessment of the current situation on the ground, the UK and its EU partners have unanimously agreed to the renewal of the measures for a further 12 months, while removing 51 people and 20 companies from the list of those subject to an EU visa ban and asset freeze on the grounds that they are no longer involved in or associated with human rights abuses or undermining democracy or the rule of law. These amendments reflect the positive progress made by the Inclusive Government and SADC facilitation process in the implementation of the global political agreement and preparing for credible and peaceful elections in Zimbabwe.

While our assessment is that there have been demonstrable improvements in the overall situation in Zimbabwe, there remains a pressing need for further progress. The implementation of political reforms remain slow. Politically motivated looting, violence and intimidation continue, albeit on a lesser scale than in previous years. Further political and democratic reform is essential to promote the rule of law, human rights and democracy, as agreed under the global political agreement. For these reasons, we have extended the travel restrictions and asset freeze applicable to the remaining 112 people and 11 companies for a further 12 months. The listing of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) will be reviewed in six months. The arms embargo remains in place.

The restrictions on appropriate measures covering EU development assistance have also been renewed for six months. During this period, the EU will engage Zimbabwe in preparations for a country strategy paper in the framework of the European development fund. The EU will also invite the Government of Zimbabwe to intensify political dialogue, including through the Zimbabwe ministerial re-engagement team, and to define further steps towards a normalisation of EU-Zimbabwe relations. The appropriate measures will be reviewed again at the end of the six months on the basis of progress on the ground in Zimbabwe, including core Cotonou principles of human rights and rule of law. EU and UK bilateral development aid will continue to be channelled directly to the people of Zimbabwe through the UN and non-state actors, rather than through the Government of Zimbabwe.

The UK and our EU partners emphasise our willingness to revisit the measures at any time should there be further concrete developments on the ground in Zimbabwe. In this context, we fully support the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and its member states in their effort to facilitate agreement among the parties in Zimbabwe on creating an environment conducive to the holding of free and fair elections. To facilitate unfettered dialogue between the EU and Zimbabwe the EU has agreed to suspend the travel bans on the two ZANU-PF members of the Zimbabwean ministerial re-engagement team.

Britain remains a committed friend to the people of Zimbabwe. UK aid to Zimbabwe this financial year (2011-12) will reach £80 million—our largest ever

programme. Over the next four years UK aid will provide almost 1 million more people with clean water, give more than 700,000 women access to family planning, create 125,000 new jobs and help 80,000 children complete primary education. UK aid to Zimbabwe is channelled through UN agencies and NGOs, not the Government of Zimbabwe, and its delivery is independently monitored.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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