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

    Multimedia US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8954
    JPY
    USD
    109.65
    GBP
    USD
    0.6827
    CAD
    USD
    1.3037
    INR
    USD
    67.037

    Rates may not be current.