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Iran proves self-sufficiency is achievable

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

In the face of severe Western sanctions and international isolation spanning over four decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has proven to the world that it takes progressive citizens to build their own nation, a model which is being used by Zimbabwe to turnaround its economic fortunes.

A self-sufficiency centred approach to economic development, mutually beneficial trade ties with regional neighbours and improved economic ties with friendly nations have propelled Irans economy to become one of the largest in the Middle East despite western sanctions and international isolation.

From the manufacturing of almost all its food and medicines requirements, Iran has achieved that.

Zimbabwes top envoy to Iran, Ambassador Bright Kupemba believes countries operating under western illegal sanctions like Zimbabwe can borrow a leaf from the Iranian model.

Leveraging on the existing cordial relations, Zimbabwe and Iran are exploring further areas of cooperation, the latest one being the signing of a memorandum of understanding in pharmaceutical and medical equipment, medical education and health systems management.

“We are also countries that are under sanctions and relations between the two countries have been actually stronger and galvanised because of these unilateral sanctions by Western countries – ours for land and assertiveness and the Iranians are also a very assertive country and they want to determine their own destiny. This is a mantra that we have as Zimbabwe that Zimbabwe should be governed by its own people, should be developed by its own people – this is the model we get from here. Iran has a very clear model which has got that mantra that a country must be governed by its own people, it must be developed by its own people, and there is a lot which we should learn from Iran within the context of economic diplomacy. It has managed to localise development, it has managed to indigenise development and processes, it has managed to demonstrate to the world that a people must govern their own resources and capacitate their people through their own processes and their own resources and this is the path which we have taken as a country.

“This is a model and Iran has managed to deploy it and implement it to the latter. We have had now the opportunity in Iran to look at how they have managed to do it in all sectors of the economy, in agriculture, in health, in mining, in agro-processing. Value addition and beneficiation – how they have done that and it is amazing that they have managed to capacitate their population, to capacitate their business persons to be able to do everything by themselves. They have also managed to develop through import substitution operations,” said Ambassador Kuoemba.

The Islamic Republic of Irans gross domestic product of nearly US$2 trillion makes it the 11th largest in the world. The country boasts of one of the strongest health systems having made great progress in the fields of cancer treatment, transplantation as well as new and advanced treatment methods hence Zimbabwe is looking forward to its partnership with the Middle East country.

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