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France pledges more support towards Zimbabwe

Story by Peter Chivhima

Zimbabwe continues to reap economic dividends from its engagement and re-engagement drive, with France pledging to continue supporting the country in research and development.

The Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement drive is bearing fruit with France pledging more support towards projects aimed at yielding sustainable national development.

An engagement held this Wednesday to celebrate 30 years of the French Agricultural Research and International Co-operation Organisation (CIRAD)’s partnership with the Zimbabwean government, was attended by various stakeholders.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ambassador Tayerera Faranisi commended invaluable technical support the country continues to get from France.

“We are celebrating 30 years of CIRAD in Zimbabwe and for all those years, we have worked closely. It has trained a lot of people in Zimbabwe especially scientists. Shortly after my arrival in Zimbabwe [from diplomatic missions] I had the opportunity to witness a number of projects at various tertiary institutions such as the University of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Regionally, the organisation has managed to train a number of students. Back in Zimbabwe the CIRAD has managed to do a number of projects in Hwange.”

France’s top envoy to Zimbabwe is equally grateful to the government of Zimbabwe for creating an enabling environment for business to thrive, revealing that a research laboratory built at a cost of US$2 million will be commissioned soon.

“I am delighted to note that CIRAD is committed to continue supporting programmes to promote agroecology and smart agriculture for climate adaptation, animal disease surveillance, capacity building through training on the next generation of scientists.  The commitment that CIRAD has demonstrated in supporting over 30 years in various areas during this period should be cherished,” noted France Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Laurent Chevallier.

CIRAD representatives at the engagement spoke highly of the benefits of the Zimbabwe France partnership.

“CIRAD has been operating in Zimbabwe for 30 years, the organisation has helped Zimbabwe to train researchers and filled the gap which was left by researchers abroad. With the partnerships we have managed to close the gap. It helps in training students to help mitigate brain drain,” said CIRAD CEO, Mrs Elisabeth Claverie de Saint Martin.

“As Zimbabwe we are benefiting a lot from the partnership. CIRAD promotes training through research and supervises master and PHD Research projects. To date over 148 students from Zimbabwe and the region have completed or are in the process of completing their degrees. Also as a nation we managed to curb brain drain of researchers,” added CIRAD Chairperson, Professor Eddie Mwenje.

The partnership feeds into government’s drive to increase agricultural productivity and promote industrialisation and innovation.

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