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UAE a strategic partner to Zim, says President

Wallace Ruzvidzo Herald Reporter

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a strategic partner to Zimbabwe in socio-economic and political spheres, and this is becoming more evident as milestones in investment promotion continue to be witnessed between the two, President Mnangagwa has said.

Consequently, a conservation agreement between Zimbabwe and a Dubai-based company, Blue Carbon General Trading LLC, was signed at State House yesterday.

The agreement is expected to close Zimbabwe’s financing gap to the tune of US$200 million.

In his address at the signing ceremony, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was committed to generating high-quality carbon credits, which would be used on the international Compliance Carbon Market.

The President said Zimbabwe had since put in place a national framework and law to guide and govern carbon credits trade prior to yesterday’s signing ceremony.

Zimbabwe’s generation of carbon credits, said President Mnangagwa, would not only yield financial and environmental gains, but also see economic infrastructure and social benefits for local communities.

“Today marks yet another milestone in the cordial and warm relations between our two nations. The United Arab Emirates is a strategic partner to Zimbabwe in the socio-economic and diplomatic spheres,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Guided by the bilateral cooperation agreement between our two countries, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates, we continue to witness more milestones in the promotion of investment, the latest of which is our engagement in Low-Carbon Development programmes.

“This development comes at an opportune time as the national framework and law to guide and govern trade in carbon credits is now in place.”

President Mnangagwa said the agreement complemented the Second Republic’s efforts in increasing knowledge as well as building capacity in climate change mitigation and resilience building.

“It also complements Government efforts with regards to increasing our knowledge base and building capacity in the area of climate change mitigation and resilience building. The project agreement signed today will be implemented in parts of the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Estate, Forest Lands and selected Communal Lands.

“In this regard, it is commendable that Blue Carbon General Trading will undertake conservation projects, and engage in reforestation, forest conservation, sustainable land management, as well as other carbon reduction-related initiatives.

“The project is anticipated to close the Government of Zimbabwe’s financing gap to the tune of US$200 million while enabling the country to generate high-quality carbon credits for use on the international Compliance Carbon Market,” said President Mnangagwa.

He assured Blue Carbon General Trading LLC that Zimbabwe would protect its investment, while inviting the company to look at other investment opportunities in carbon reduction.

To this end, his administration will facilitate a conducive environment that would ensure mutual benefit for both parties.

“Through this agreement, it is our sincere hope that the project will be implemented with the highest levels of environmental and social safeguards. The economic infrastructure and social benefits deriving from the project should be visible and tangible for local communities, who are key stakeholders.

“The rights to generate carbon credits should further yield financial and environmental benefits that enhance other sectors such as tourism, water resources management, agro-forestry and biodiversity conservation. In addition to our Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed on 14 August 2023 and the Conservation Agreement signed today, be assured that your investment will be protected by law through investment protection, carbon trading and bilateral cooperation statutes.

“Going forward, I invite the company to explore more carbon reduction investment opportunities which Zimbabwe has to offer in the transport, renewable energy and industrial sectors. On its part, my Government will facilitate the opportunities within a framework that provides win-win benefits to both parties, including our local communities,”  said President Mnangagwa.

In his remarks, Chairman of Blue Carbon Trading, His Highness under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, said the agreement would exponentially benefit the Zimbabwean economy.

“We have signed this historic partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe to develop carbon credits to help the Zimbabwean economy. The project will spread over 7,5 million hectares and bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the Zimbabwean Government and to its people.

“The MoU will bring US$1,5 billion through the carbon credits financing,” he said.

The agreement was signed by Environment, Climate and Wildlife Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu, and Blue Carbon chief executive officer Ms Josiane Sadaka.