PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for collaboration among African nations to achieve economic growth saying the continent remained disconnected based on the history of colonialism.

Sharing his thoughts at a Presidential dialogue held yesterday during the African Development Bank annual meetings in Nairobi, Kenya, Mnangagwa rallied behind other African heads of State who called for the independence of Africa through reforming the current financial architecture which they said had gaps.

“I believe that very few countries have shaken off the burden of colonialism after independence. For a long time, independent African countries continued to focus in terms of relations to their former colonial masters.  It is now, in recent history, that we have begun to collaborate as African countries among ourselves, changing focus from former colonial masters relating to ourselves,” Mnangagwa said.

“Africa, as a continent, has resources enough to develop, modernise, and industrialise our continent as a people. But it has taken us long to shift from the focus of believing that our development must be linked to our former colonial masters.”

He said the development of the continent would take longer if “we continue to develop our countries in silos”.

Mnangagwa added that Africa should begin to have internal connections. To achieve that, he said, it would require the collaboration of the entire African continent to pool resources to achieve that which is possible to service Africa.

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“I’m happy that now there's a group of African leaders who now focus on developing our respective countries by collaborating among ourselves. It could be in agriculture, it could be in education, and so on. For instance, in Zimbabwe, all along, we were relying on importing wheat from Ukraine. And yet, it is possible to grow enough wheat for ourselves,” Mnangagwa said.

Kenya President William Ruto said climate change and sovereign debt were now firmly interconnected, trapping governments in a vicious cycle where increasing losses and damage from climate impacts lead to rising costs of mobilising resources for public investments.

“Climate change has often resulted in substantial reallocation of resources towards mitigation, adaptation and resilience. The financial architecture we advocate for Africa today should integrate the continent’s most challenging developmental issues of debt sustainability and climate vulnerabilities to enable the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 commitments,” Ruto said.

Rwanda President, Paul Kagame, said  the international financial architecture was framed in line with the interests of the “architects”.

“The reform is how do we disrupt the current framework? It must be based on our interests. How can anyone interested in the interests of the world sideline our continent? Soon, Africa will be the only continent with a growing middle class. So, it is in the world’s interest to see Africa’s interest. If Africa grows, the whole world will grow. But Africans cannot wait on the borderline for handouts; we need to be more proactive in this cause,” Kagame said.