detail - Rule of Law Programme Sub-Saharan Africa (Anglophone Countries)
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After having been formally introduced by Dr. Arne Wulff, Director Rule of Law Program for Sub-Saharan Africa, who moderated this meeting, Hon. Eddie Cross gave a presentation on the topic of "The Economy of Zimbabwe: From Crisis to Crisis."
First of all, he addressed the issue of the economic collapse that Zimbabwe has been going through since 2014, when the overall GDP (estimated from State Revenue) decreased for 12 percent in comparison to the year before. He also dwelled on the high unemployment rate of 94 percent, the cash crisis and debt situation that the country currently is struggling with. His prediction is that a major economic collapse might be imminent and can only be avoided by full engagement with the international community.
However, in order to achieve this reengagement with the International Community, Zimbabwe is obliged to fulfill some conditions:
- Macro Economic Stability
- Democratic Elections
- Respect for Property Rights
- Respect for Human and political Rights
- Implementation of the Constitution
Hon. Eddie Cross also highlighted the role of the opposition, whose number of parties have been growing since 2000 and now can be of great relevance and offer alternative political options if they forge forces.
Hon. Eddie Cross' terminated his presentation with a suggestion for a way forward that can contribute to improve the situation of Zimbabwe: In his opinion, an improvement of the political and economic situation can only be achieved, if President Mugabe retires and free and fair elections are conducted in accordance with the internationally recognized standards including the SADC principles.
Key Players in this process that shall lead to improvement in the country involve various actors - on the national level but also on the international level:
- The main opposition parties and ZANU PF
- The International Community
- The Chinese Government
- The South African Government and SADC
- The UN Agencies
- The Diaspora
- The Military/Security elements in Zimbabwe