US sees positive growth in Zimbabwe

THE United States (US) has testified that Zimbabwe is a country with great local and regional potential, identifying notable achievements the Southern African country has carried out for the sake of its people.

This comes at a time when America is at loggerheads with Zimbabwe on a number of issues such as huma rights violations and electoral reforms.

Giving a testimony about Zimbabwe and her relations with US last Wednesday in Washington, DC in America, the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, described the country as having great prospects to reach the top but acknowledged that it still had a few challenges to solve.

“Zimbabwe is a country of enormous economic, agricultural, and regional potential. While some visible improvements have been made, serious challenges remain,” he said.

Assistant Secretary Carson recognised that the country was progressing well despite slight hitches in its inclusive government.

He mentioned some of the successes Zimbabweans were experiencing and said humanitarian needs had decreased significantly projecting that by January 2012 a million people will require help rather than the seven million in 2009.

“Schools and health institutions previously closed due to lack of staff and supplies have re-opened and are providing vital social services to the Zimbabwean people.

“A tri-partisan parliamentary committee has sought input for a new draft constitution from millions of Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe’s economy, which dollarised in 2009, has made a remarkable recovery. The International Monetary Fund estimated that Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product grew at nine percent in 2010,” he reflected.

The US official also spoke about politically motivated harassment across all parties saying it impeded development.

Assistant Secretary Carson said as America it would do what it can to promote Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and to highlight opportunities for investment that will benefit both countries’ businesses.

“We will continue to provide guidance to U.S. businesses interested in taking advantage of opportunities in Zimbabwe about how they can move forward in a way that complies with U.S. law,” he said.

The US official noted how careless of him it would be not to stress that Zimbabwe’s importance to the southern region, as it was a critical transport hub and a country with great economic potential.

He also added that problems affecting Zimbabwe also have a negative effect on her neighbours.

“Zimbabwe shares borders with South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. It is a rich resource of talent. The unstable political situation in Zimbabwe affects all the countries around it. Zimbabwe’s neighbors are still feeling the effects of the refugee flows and economic collapse,” he said.

Assistant Secretary Carson said it was imperative that America recognises progress and change in Zimbabwe in line with other concerns.

He noted Zimbabwe is a young nation with a long colonial legacy to overcome explaining that: “social, political, and economic advances do not happen quickly, realising that nor will they necessarily follow an American or western model.”

Assistant Secretary Carson said he also had faith in the Southern African Development Community because it took its mediating role seriously in guiding the inclusive government.

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