News / Economy

Mugabe: Southern Africa Must Reduce Reliance on Foreign Aid

FILE - Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, attends the burial of Major General Bandama who died after a short illness at the National Heroes acre in Harare, July, 17, 2014.
FILE - Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, attends the burial of Major General Bandama who died after a short illness at the National Heroes acre in Harare, July, 17, 2014.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Sunday urged southern Africa to move away from “over-reliance” on foreign aid at a two-day summit being held in Zimbabwe.

The 90-year-old leader spoke Sunday after taking the chairmanship of the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mugabe, who will lead SADC for the next 12 months, said southern Africa must use its natural resources such as minerals and land. The region has the world’s largest platinum deposits and supplies of other valuable commodities such as diamonds and gold.

"Our continued over-reliance on the generosity and goodwill of our cooperating partners tends to compromise our ownership and sustainability of our SADC programs. How can we proudly claim SADC to be own organization when close to 60 percent of the programs are externally funded?" he asked.

Finished vs raw goods

Mugabe also called on countries to drive growth by exporting more finished goods instead of raw materials.

Southern Africa must "wean itself from exporting raw materials and create value chains that will lead to the exportation of finished products," he said.

"Our region has abundant resources, which instead of being sold in raw form at very low prices must be exploited and beneficiated to add value to the products which we export," Mugabe said.

The summit, which ends Monday, is being held under a theme of "economic transformation," which leaders say can be achieved by using the region's vast natural resources.

On Friday, rights groups called on SADC leaders to include issues of human rights abuses in the region on their meeting’s agenda.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, but a series of economic crises, flawed elections and brutal crackdowns have brought U.N. sanctions and turned the former revolutionary into a Western pariah.

He was the only leader from southern Africa not invited to attend a major U.S.-African summit in Washington earlier this month, which included about  45 of the continent's heads of state.

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: yataro from: Japan
August 19, 2014 11:10 AM
I'm curious to know that why it is difficult for them to export finished goods. If they know it, they should focus on it. It is important what is the barrier.

by: Sipepu
August 19, 2014 7:44 AM
Ironically Africa has not been blessed with good leaders where humanitarian rights became non existant - Rwanda being one of many tragic examples, where 800,000 people lost their lives. The list can go on not forgetting Idi Amin of Uganda. History will be the judge of Africa along with the Hague for those who have committed humanitarian crimes.......hopefully

by: Osman from: Somalia
August 19, 2014 2:08 AM
i think president Mugabe is right, he is the only leader in Africa that can understand the reality on the ground. Western world does like Robert Mugabe because he knows conspiracy of western world. we as Africans need more leaders like him, its true he was not invited to US-African summit because Mugabe will never ever accept new colony

by: Ron
August 18, 2014 1:51 PM
It's easy to say the obvious. Foreigners are often called in to rescue government projects after every last cent has been stolen, there is no accountability in Southern Africa.

by: anonymous
August 18, 2014 11:28 AM
Brutal Crackdowns ? (Economical with the truth) Please tell the truth like it really is, just for a change Gukhurahundi in Zimbabwe claimed 20,000 lives for which nobody has ever been held accountable?






by: silverfox from: greensboro
August 18, 2014 8:22 AM
WITHOUT FORIEGN AID OR WELFARE THE BLACK RACE COULD NOT SURVIVE.

by: Costco
August 18, 2014 4:24 AM
A better idea would be to stop stealing and retire to an old persons home

by: TAMALE KIZITO from: KAMPALA
August 18, 2014 1:33 AM
I do agree with you president Robert Mugabe.lt's our duty to fight and eradicate neo-colonialism from Africa.
In Response

by: John
August 26, 2014 6:00 AM
I certainly agree that we should fight colonialism from Africa. The Africans have wrecked their own countries, and now wish to colonise us, as they did in the days when they sold their surplus people to credulous white merchants. They should stay in Africa and support themselves by their own work.

by: Robert from: Panama
August 17, 2014 11:37 PM
Mugabe destroyed the economy of his own country so why should anyone take his advice? In addition his party is guilty of using violence against the opposition and his election results are questionable. In my opinion Mugabe is a criminal since he has used brutality to stay in power.

by: Arnold from: Brasilia
August 17, 2014 6:13 PM
Dependence has stagnated economic freedom and flexing of the intellegencia! The President of Malawi is NOT Joyce Banda any more.
In Response

by: thomas from: US
August 18, 2014 3:12 AM
He says this after he has gotten rich and lived the good life. Tell him to return the money that he has pocketed over the years. He is 90 years of age with old ideas. How can the country move forward. Ask him what has he done for his people or what his wife has done. He doesn't want foreign investment anymore because there are now more accountability along with checks and balances in place to see what the govt is/has done with the money it should be pouring into the country and its people.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9238
JPY
USD
119.51
GBP
USD
0.6614
CAD
USD
1.2119
INR
USD
63.562

Rates may not be current.