Lessons for Zimbabwe from the Russia-Ukraine conflict


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The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which resulted in a surge in global prices of food, gas, oi and related products, was a wake-up call to Zimbabwe that it must find home grown solutions to its problems but, more importantly, that it must be food secure.

This was said by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his weekly column for the Sunday Mail, which is owned by Zimbabwe Newspapers, a publicly listed company in which the State is a major shareholder.

He said that the changing global situation which is increasingly being shaped by conflict and unilateralism, enjoined Zimbabweans to look to themselves, to their region and to their continent primarily.

“Beyond ourselves, our region and our continent, we face growing uncertainty which we can only offset through creative and responsive diplomacy,” Mnangagwa said.

“Zimbabwe’s external relations and interpretation of engagement and re-engagement must reckon with this stark reality. So, too, should our citizens as they seek to understand how government’s external relations programme is being shaped.

“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. 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.”

Full write-up

THE conflict ensuing in Europe is radically recasting the post-1945 world order in which the West has held sway all along.

International trade as we have known it since 1945, appears about to change.

Across the globe, nations appear to be retreating from, or radically rethinking globalisation.

Old alliances either no longer hold or are being severely tested.

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.

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.

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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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