Parajuli: Zim needs to rise above aid syndrome

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By Anna Chibamu

OUTGOING United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli has commended the Zimbabwean government over its Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and re-engagement strategy to reduce poverty but says the country should not rely on aid alone.

Speaking to journalists this Wednesday on his last engagement with the media in Harare, the UN envoy urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to change its policies to attract investment.

He said aid alone was never a solution to the country’s myriad challenges as more funding or resources are needed to lure investors.

“The approach of engaging globally and attracting investors into the country, changing regulations, rules and policies are the right step to go forward otherwise aid alone is never the right solution.

“We need to work towards attracting private sector to create more jobs and engage with the IFIs such IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank (AFDB, these are extremely important steps to build confidence to get more funding and rescue the country.

“What Zimbabwe needs at this moment is to attract investors and also investing in institutions. It needs more resources so the whole agricultural sector can be transformed,” said Parajuli.

Regarding other developmental issues, Parajuli commended government for investing in human capital but showed concern on the decrease in the number of girl dropouts from secondary schools.

“There is huge need for other infrastructure areas such as mineral resources. Zimbabwe is so much blessed with resources, human capital. The country has invested so much in human capital which are fantastic steps that must continue.

“Sadly with rising poverty as reports have shown, more girls are being reduced in secondary schools and these are worrying signs. The concern in HIV issues, more youths and girls are being infected with HIV. Working towards in changing that is more important. We need to work to transform it and preserve human capital.

“We are also working in strengthening various capacities so at the end of the day, the programmes in place remain sustainable and supporting to change policies in Zimbabwe for continuous sustainability. There has been a lot of neglect in the past so transformation cannot easily be achieved,” said the diplomat.