By Nyasha Mutena
The Cabinet has considered and approved the final Ministerial Action Plan that is compliant with the National Development Strategy 1: 2021-2025, which was presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Frederick Shava.
The plan relays deliberations from the Ministry’s mission to promote the political and socio-economic interests, the image and influence of Zimbabwe in the international community. It also seeks to protect the interests and safety of the Zimbabwean diaspora.
The deliverables of the Plan include the following:
appointment of eight honourary consuls during the five-year period; establishment of twenty-five new export markets and facilitating one hundred trade investment missions; and improving international relations through such undertakings as signing of 150 cooperation agreements and twenty-six Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs).
The country’s image will be improved through the planned 650 public diplomacy and visibility initiatives both locally and internationally. This includes press releases, holding regular briefings with diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, and delivering lectures at universities and other key national institutions.
In line with the decentralization and devolution thrust, the Ministry is in the process of establishing two provincial offices in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development presented the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the National Development Strategy 2021-2025, which was approved by Cabinet.
The National Development Strategy 1 was launched by His Excellency the President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa, on 16th November 2020 with a pledge that the attendant monitoring and evaluation framework would be published in due course, in order to ensure that set targets are met.
Accordingly, Cabinet was advised that NDS 1 will be implemented and monitored using a Thematic Working Group Approach. All the identified benchmarks, targets, milestones and outcomes will therefore be the responsibility of the blueprints’ fourteen Thematic Working Group Chairs and their Co-Chairs, based on 2020 as the baseline year.
It is important to note that Thematic Working Groups comprise not only Government Ministries but other key stakeholders, such as members of the private sector, academia and civil society. Annual targets will be reviewed based on quarterly targets attainment, which will be ascertained from reports presented to Cabinet for approval. The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework engenders greater efficiency in assessing progress made in the implementation of the NDS 1.