Whole world to benefit from African economic development: Mugabe

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Robert Mugabe.UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The entire world will benefit if Africa reaches its full economic potential, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe told the UN General Assembly on Monday.

He said Africa is not looking for "handouts" but rather partnerships that ultimately will improve the lives of people on the continent.

Dianne Penn has the story.

Mr Mugabe spoke of the framework adopted this year by the African Union to guide development over the next half century.

Agenda 2063 outlines plans to fast track economic integration to improve people's lives through sustained and balanced growth.

Plans for the next decade include creating a continental free-trade area, an African Centre for Disease Control and a science and technology university.

"The successful implementation of Agenda 2063 calls not just for the commitment of African stakeholders but also for the support and engagement of partners beyond the borders of our continent. Africa is not looking for handouts. Rather, it is looking for partners in massive infrastructural development, in creating and exploiting the value chains from its God-given natural resources, and in improving the quality of life of the continent’s citizens. The entire world stands to benefit from an economically empowered African continent, than from one emasculated by deprivation and with an over-dependence on others."

Mr Mugabe's speech also touched on  human rights, among other issues.

He said Zimbabwe rejects what he called the "politicization" of the issue and attempts to prescribe "new rights" which are contrary to the nation's values, norms, traditions and beliefs.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’40″

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