Role of African countries in BRICS bloc vital for development -Mutsvangwa

Zimbabwe's Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa. Picture: IOL
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A clarion call has been made for media organizations and other stakeholders in Africa to band together to improve development and advance the continent’s agenda on the global stage.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 6th BRICS Media Forum held in Houghton in Johannesburg, South Africa, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said the Forum serves as the perfect platform for the continent’s media to learn from each other.

“A lot of MOU’s have been signed among ourselves. (For instance) If you hear about Zimbabwe (in the media), let it be factual. Otherwise, if you are going to wait for CNN to give you that information or BBC or Aljazeera they will put it in their own way,” said Mutsvangwa.

She added: “We are saying, let’s communicate, let’s collaborate, let’s share information and that information should really be there to build our continent (Africa). We can do it. We are a big continent endowed with all the mineral resources. There is no need for poverty in Africa, we just need to have the right people.”

Delegates at the BRICS Media Forum held at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ African News Agency (ANA)

Although Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa will likely not attend the 15th BRICS Summit to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre from August 22-24 due to the country’s upcoming elections on August 23, a number of other leaders on the continent are expected to attend and will also form part of deliberations around the BRICS expansion that is set to change the geopolitics landscape.

Mutsvangwa indicated that officials from Zimbabwe were ready to attend and form part of policies that would be discussed at the Media Forum and the Summit.

“Africa is ready now to work with BRICS-member countries who have shown they are ready to work with African as equal partners and advance our interests for win-win situations. So we are happy to say if people are going to trade, they need to know each other first, so the role of media cannot be overemphasized. We need to do the job to ensure that countries know each other.”

She further highlighted that as is, Zimbabwe had already benefited form its relations with China as some of the infrastructure emerged out of a collaborative efforts between the two countries, adding Zimbabwe is open for business.