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Belarus Vows to Revive Zimbabwe Economy

Vice President-Elect Emmerson Mnangagwa, widely expected to succeed President Mugabe as Zimbabwe's next leader. (Collage by Ntungamili Nkomo)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the need for the two countries to extend their relations and ensure Zimbabwe becomes the trade hub of Africa.

Zimbabwe and Belarus signed a $150 million agreement Monday, which will see the former Soviet Union state supplying the southern African nation with equipment that will benefit various sectors including agriculture, mining, municipal, and road and dam construction.

The state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation reports that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa met Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko who emphasized the need for the two countries to strengthen thier relatios and ensure Zimbabwe becomes the trade hub of Africa.

However, economist Masimba Kuchera told VOA Studio 7 that Zimbabwe needs major deals amounting to more than $20 billion to make meaningful economic impact.

He said this can be done after amending the country’s laws to attract major investors, not Belarus which is also under sanctions from the European Union.

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Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe, who is also chairman of the African Union and Southern African Development Community, is in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, attending a two-day international conference on Africa’s fight against Ebola, which commenced Monday and ends Tuesday.

The meeting is expected to craft a global policy to combat Ebola, which has killed more than 11,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria.