Farirai Machivenyika, Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe’s foreign policy is premised on economic diplomacy focused on consolidating and creating mutual friendships.
This was said by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo while presenting a lecture at the Joint Staff and Command Course Number 33 at the Zimbabwe Staff College at Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks.
“Zimbabwe’s foreign policy is not static. It is both dynamic and responsive to the ever-changing world. Our thrust at the moment is economic diplomacy premised on image building, consolidating old friendships and opening new frontiers for mutual beneficial cooperation,” Minister Moyo said.
The minister said the country’s foreign policy was focusing more on the economy following guidance set out by President Mnangagwa in his inaugural speech as Head of State and Government.
“The creation and formulation of our foreign policy is basically the prerogative of our President, the Head of State and Government. The President sets the parameters of a country’s foreign policy,” Minister Moyo said.
“President Mnangagwa has clearly laid out the country’s foreign policy thrust guiding the Second Republic and he clearly enunciated this in his inaugural speech when he was sworn-in as President. He clearly articulated that this country had been isolated for nearly two decades.
“We must allow our people to freely engage with the rest of the international community without any impediments and without any form of isolation.”
The minister added that the “Zimbabwe is open for business” policy indicated a shift of the country’s diplomacy.
“That meant a shift in the foreign policy of Zimbabwe. It is not just meant to look for friends, but it is transactional diplomacy. It is economic diplomacy meaning that each and very diplomat must have a different view and shift in mind and be guided to not only create friends, but ensure that it is a win-win friendship and transactional kind of friendship.
“That’s why even in an organisational structure, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was further given responsibility to handle international trade and investment that meant a total shift within the discourse of international diplomacy,” Minister Moyo said.
He added that the country’s foreign policy was also predicated on Pan Africanism promoting national security, national economic well-being and the image of the country that transcends that of the Government of the day.