Denmark earmarks $34m aid

HARARE - Denmark has earmarked $34 million in aid to be channelled toward reviving the country’s economy and improving the livelihood of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Erik Rasmussen, the Danish ambassador to Zimbabwe said his country would be spending nearly $30 million this year in Zimbabwe,  making the European nation the largest donor to Zimbabwe per capita.

“Next year our assistance is expected to increase further to around $34 million,” he said adding that this year Denmark initiated a cultural programme which included cultural exchanges.

This comes as relations between the two countries are slowly improving since 2009 when the inclusive government was formed.

The Nordic country had closed its embassy in Harare in 2002 after violent and disputed presidential elections and halted all aid to the country through the Danish International Development Agency, which had poured in more than $750 million since 1995.

In a clear signal of normalising relations between the two countries, Denmark’s Trade and Development minister, Mogens Jensen, is currently in the country to explore possible commercial opportunities between the Nordic country and the southern African nation.

Rasmussen said Jensen — who is the first senior politician from a Western nation to officially visit Zimbabwe since the elections in 2013 — will also assess progress on Danish-funded projects.

He added that from a Danish perspective, the visit was an opportunity for Denmark’s Trade minister to assess the current situation in Zimbabwe. “The engagement with government officials will also signify a willingness to seek dialogue, a dialogue that will be open and non-prescriptive.

“Denmark having been away from Zimbabwe from 2002-2010 is now again here with a sizeable presence, the visit will cement that,” he said.

Denmark and Zimbabwe have a long history of cooperation. During the struggle for independence, Denmark was a strong supporter of a free and independent Zimbabwe and continued to provide extensive support for its development after independence.

Following the crisis culminating around 2008, Denmark contributed to re-establishing health and education services through the provision of textbooks for all primary and secondary students, as well as supporting health worker retention in government hospitals.

Together with other development partners Denmark has since 2008 helped about 2 million of the most vulnerable people out of immediate food shortage and distress.

With the gradual increase in development cooperation Denmark has emerged as one of the largest bilateral donors in the country with the Royal Danish Embassy Office in Harare administrating the on-going Danida programme in the country.

 

Comments (5)

Zanu pf cadres must have their bulging eyes popping out of their sockets in anticipation ! The PC loonies in Denmark are at it again; now instead of bringing child labour to Zimbabwe they are bringing tons of cash to “donate” directly into the hands or accponts of the Zanu pf Mafiosa chefs. Erik Rasmussen is soon expected to be nominated by Supa Mandiwanzira for a lifetime card carrying member of Zanu pf.

Zondaar Moscatelli - 9 November 2014

the irony of the matter is that the money will immediately find its way back to europe. the same people who speak against europe will use the 34m to buy laxury from europe. recently another of them bought a hand made merc from germany for a fortune while the country is exposed to dirty water. futi sorry maningi.

taurai - 9 November 2014

It is always a relief to hear such wonderful news of progress for our nation for a change. The way I see it, we should step up our normalisation of relations with Europe even further, especially in the most crucial sectors of health, education, energy, agriculture and infrastructure. If ZISCOSTEEL were to be operated by the Germans who are well known for their steel industry, this whole country's fortunes would be turned for the best within a very short period of time. Hwange Colliery would be revived, so would the National Railways of Zimbabwe, not to mention the ripple effect it would have on down stream industries such as transport, construction and other service providers. The Look East policy has let us down, the Indians fidgeting around with what should be one of the biggest steel producing firms in the world at ZISCO being a perfect example. This after the Chinese tried unsuccesfully to re- furbish a blast furnace at the plant.

Dr Know - 10 November 2014

kudos to dr know. you are a real patriot. you do not just oppose for the sake of it but you offer well thought suggestions. unlike the onesided rhodesia front musona your a are true zimbabwe. people of this mind-set should be recommended for leadership positions in our government. its nice to hear good news about our country but its even best when the citizens of our country start to exhibit positivity. kudos to dr know.

taurai - 10 November 2014

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