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President Mnangagwa addresses St Petersburg International Economic Forum delegates

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin addressed delegates attending the 2024 edition of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum this Friday.

The two leaders touched on the role of Africa in the global economic matrix and how to use national resources for development.

The St Petersburg International Economic Forum is a key platform which brings together thousands of delegates in Russia each year as they discuss business and seek partnerships.

With the forum having started on the 5th of this month, the main plenary session was held this Friday.

Host President Vladimir Putin delivered his keynote address saying the forum does not only provide a platform to build business ties but also allows an in-depth look into the economic global affairs.

When President Mnangagwa took to the podium, he was clear about the need for equal partnerships with African countries.

“We are convinced that mutually beneficial cooperation, partnerships and investments anchored by complementarity are a more sustainable foundation for a multipolar world and the formation of new areas of growth. To this end, we welcome the transformation of the global economic relations and geo-political landscape through BRICS with additional new members, along with other emerging economies. In these efforts, the role of Africa, remains critically important not as a mere supplier of raw materials, but as a dependable global partner in every facet of human endeavour and development,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President said it is unacceptable that the collective West continues to pursue hegemonic tendencies that blatantly violate sovereign equality of nations, justice and fairness as enshrined in the United Nations charter.

“There is a general consensus that uni-polarity has no place in modern global politics and international economic relations. The reality points to a re-distribution of power among nations, as well as the emergence of multiple centres of economic growth, innovation and cultural influence.

“We recognise that a multi-polar world is the panacea to both opportunities and challenges that confront humanity. The old geo-political global order, dominated by a select few, resulting in the perpetual marginalisation of most of us in the Global South, is no longer acceptable.”

President Mnangagwa also used the platform to pitch to the business world the opportunities available in Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, noting that the country is keen to foster cooperation with prospective investors.

Bolivian President, Luis Acre also addressed the forum which is part of a well-crafted Zimbabwean diplomatic agenda to seek partnerships that will see the country unlocking its potential in various sectors.

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