President Mugabe hands over 300 head of cattle to the African Union Foundation

By African Union Commission (AUC)

H.E Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe on Thursday 25 February 2016, handed over 300 head of cattle to a delegation of the African Union led by H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC). The donation in kind, was a pledge made by President Mugabe to the African Union Foundation last year in his capacity as Chairman of the African Union (AU).

“We are deeply humbled and honoured by H.E. President R.G Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe for this gift and commitment to the socio-economictransformation of the continent. As Africans, giving is a part of our culture, although it does not always come easily to us as individuals,” said Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha.

H.E Erastus Mwencha told the press immediately after the meeting at State House with President Mugabe that, the cattle contribution would go a long way in capacitating the AU Foundation.“His Excellency the President during his tenure as Chairperson of the African Union made a contribution and donation to the private sector and as we know that last year when we had Ebola the private sector came up in a very strong way to support the African Union. So His Excellency also showed his commitment in that direction. He made a donation of some 300 cattle which will be a contribution to support our programmes including, for instance building health capacity and also strengthening our education systems in the continent”, stated the AUC Deputy Chairperson.

The AUC Deputy Chairperson is expected to go and see the cattle at Vuka Farm in Karoid today.

The cattle were pledged as a gift by H.E. President Robert Mugabe in June 2015, at the 25th African Union Summit in Johannesburg, to the newly formed African Union Foundation established by Heads of State and Government in 2013. The Foundation was set up with a mandate to enhance voluntary contributions by the private sector, individuals and member states towards Africa's socio-economic transformation. The Foundation was instrumental in the African Union led Ebola intervention in West Africa, mobilising the African private sector to contribute over $30million in 2014.

On behalf of the African Union Foundation, Acting Chief Executive Mr. Dumisani Mngadi thanked the President for his exemplary leadership in demonstrating the ability of ordinary African citizens to fund Africa's development imperatives by aligningindividual efforts, strengthening domestic resource mobilisation and reducing the continents' dependency on external aid.

The delegation also took the opportunity to extend an invitation to President Mugabe to attend the inaugural African Economic Platform to be held in Port Louis, Mauritius in April 2016. The delegation led by the AUC Deputy Chairperson arrived in Zimbabwe from the Mauritian capital where they met with the government of the Republic of Mauritius in preparation for the African Economic Platform scheduled to take place on 14 - 16 April, 2016.

The African Economic Platform was announced by the AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during the just concluded 26th AU Summit of Heads of State and Government. The platform will bring together the public sector, led by Heads of State and Government; the African private sector led by captains of commerce and industry; as well as the African higher education sector, to fast track African economic transformation toward the realization of Africa's Agenda 2063.