British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has endorsed plans outlined by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to resuscitate the Southern African country’s economy.
Johnson was speaking at the sidelines of the African Union-European Union Summit in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday.
“I am encouraged by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s words so far,” he said.
Johnson pointed out that during his inauguration speech, Mnangagwa pledged to reform the economy and give investors the security of title they need if Zimbabwe is to fulfill its potential and create the jobs that were sorely needed.
“For as long as the President acts on his words, then Britain is willing to work alongside him and offer all the support we can,” Johnson added.
He said recent events in Zimbabwe offered a moment of hope for the country and its people, who over the years have witnessed the infamous collapse of the country.
Last week, Mnangagwa succeeded Robert Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, after a bloodless takeover of control by the military and widespread protests against the veteran leader.
“This is a time to look to the future and to make clear that Britain shares the common vision of a prosperous, peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe,” Johnson said.
His country has seen relations strained with Zimbabwe after Mugabe sanctioned the violent takeover of farms owned mostly by British farmers. This and other partisan policies are blamed for the collapse of a vibrant economy.
Britain slapped Mugabe and his inner circle with sanctions. Mnangagwa pledged compensation for the affected farmers.
Mugabe’s former deputy also announced initiatives to tackle rampant corruption.