Exodus of Zimbabwean doctors called "brain haemorrhage"(The Daily News, Gweru, 20/10) - It now costs $2 million to train one Zimbabwean doctor, compared with $250 000 in the 1980s, a lecturer in the paediatric health department at the University of Zimbabwe, Dr Robert-Gray Choto, said on Tuesday. Choto told participants at a workshop on HIV/Aids in Gweru that most locally-trained doctors were so well-equipped they were leaving for greener pastures in South Africa, Namibia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. What we are witnessing in Zimbabwe in the health sector is not only the brain drain, but the brain haemorrhage, he said. There are less than 1 200 doctors in the public sector, while a few were employed in the private sector.
Red tape delays implementation of Trans-Limpopo SDI (Zimbabwe Independent, Harare, 06/10) - Government red tape could delay the signing of the memorandum of understanding launching the Trans-Limpopo Basin Spatial Development Initiative between Zimbabwe and South Africa, stakeholders warned this week.The initiative was mooted last year to develop the economic potential of the southern Africa region through cross-border investment and joint ventures. It would extend from Victoria Falls to Beitbridge on the Zimbabwe side and into South Africas Northern Province. Stakeholders told a meeting in Bulawayo on Tuesday that the memorandum of understanding between the two countries was expected to be signed on October 26. However, the signing hangs in the balance unless government cuts the red tap and improves the countrys current economic situation which compromised proposed investments within the regional initiative. The current fuel crisis and the erratic water situation in Matabeleland were cited as some of the hurdles likely to defer the launch of the initiative, which is yet to get the blessing of the top political leadership in the two countries. A consultant with Africaconsult, Sam Geza, said this week difficulties likely to be faced included the problem of managing the initiative and allocation of responsibilities. "There is also the problem of delays at the border and bilateral problems, the rail tariff, restructuring, and the prioritisation of the implementation of corridors," said Geza. High tariffs, Geza said, were a barrier to trade. Bottlenecks at the border posts were another issue of concern set to affect trade between the two countries. Former Matabeleland South Provincial Administrator and co-chairperson of the initiative, Angelous Dube, said the draft was still with the Ministry of Local Government and the Attorney-Generals Office. "If we speed up we can sign it as soon as possible," said Dube. "This needs political clout for it to happen so we put it in the governors court," she said. Chief executive of the Children of Africa Development Initiative (COADI) Themba Sibanda, said it had become normal for civil servants in different ministries to sit on papers awaiting approval. He said the draft of the memorandum of understanding was being circulated within government 1 of 2 ministries. "Something has to happen instead of pushing the document from one ministry to another," he said.
Once approved, the memorandum would be signed by the premier of the Northern Province on behalf of South Africa and the governors of Matabeleland North and South provinces on behalf of Zimbabwe. Although the figures of the costs of launching the Trans-Zambezi Initiative have not been calculated, the Beira development Cor- ridor would need about US$20 billion. Other potential corridors included the Highveld Development Cor- ridor which would link Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and the resource- rich Limpopo Development Corridor between Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. "The Beira Development Corridor between Zimbabwe and Mozambique is power- based in coal and water and the Zambezi River Corridor between Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi is a tourism and energy-based SDJ," Geza said. A steering committee comprising five subcommittees, agriculture and water, education sport and tourism, infrastructure and energy, and mining and economic development, had been established. The committee has been mandated to explore co-operation between the participating countries in the regions. The two Zimbabwean provinces share strengths in trade, tourism and conservation potential, culture similarities, horticulture, mineral deposits, agriculture, communication and energy. However, the regions weaknesses were identified as the lack of inadequate water supply, recurrent droughts, unstable economic environment, lack of direct foreign investment, high unemployment and the Aids pandemic.
This page was last updated on 22 December 2000.