(By Edwin Mbulo in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe)
ZIMBABWE has US$600 million worth of ivory and rhino horns stock piles, reveals President Emmerson Mnangagwa. In his keynote speech at the inaugural of Africa Wildlife Economy Summit at Elephant Hills Hotel, President Mnangagwa said proceeds from natural
resources can also be used for the provision of water for animals in national parks in the wake of climate change.
“We currently have US$600 million worth of ivory and rhino horns stock piles which we cannot sell due to global restrictions. If we are allowed to dispose of this, we can raise enough funds which can be channelled towards conservation efforts for two decades,” President Mnangagwa said.
He took a swipe at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), saying the organisation’s ‘one size fits all’ approach is of great concern. President Mnangagwa said there is need for the organisation to become development oriented instead of policing and preventing countries from prudent use of wildlife. Zimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism and Environment Prisca Mupfumira said wildlife can change and improve livelihood in local communities if well harnessed. United Nations Environment Programme deputy executive director Joyce Msuya said wildlife can help improving livelihoods and fighting poverty. And African Union commissioner for rural economy and agriculture Josefa Sacko urged governments to tackle poaching so as to prevent the extinction of certain wildlife species.
The summit was attended by President Edgar Lungu, Namibia’s Hage Geingob and President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi while Angola was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs Paula Francesca.