Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Tadeous Chifamba, recently spoke with the Africa Policy Journal in an exclusive interview, discussing various issues related to Africa’s relationships with superpowers. Ambassador Chifamba emphasized the importance of Africa being seen as an equal partner, rather than prey, and having a seat at the table. The interview was conducted following a lecture by Ambassador Chifamba at the Harvard Kennedy School organized by Africa Caucus, The Africa Policy Journal and Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
One of the key issues addressed was the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States in 2001, following the promulgation of the ZIDERA Act. The ambassador urged the US to lift these sanctions, stating that Zimbabwe wants to be a friend to all and an enemy to none. He argued that the sanctions were unjustified and used as a tool for regime change, sabotaging Zimbabwe’s economy and inciting citizens to vote against the ruling party Zanu PF.
Ambassador Chifamba also provided a synopsis of Zimbabwe’s mineral resources, particularly its lithium. He mentioned that the Zimbabwean government has introduced policy changes to promote value chain-driven investments. Zimbabwe now requires all prospective investors in the lithium market to set up processing plants and has banned the exportation of raw lithium. Zimbabwe is home to Africa’s largest lithium reserves, which are also the fifth largest lithium reserves in the world.
In closing, Ambassador Chifamba reiterated Zimbabwe’s commitment to exploring alternative clean energy sources but called for a time allowance for a smooth transition. He stated that Zimbabwe already possesses critical resources in green energy but needs climate financing to accelerate this change.
Ambassador Tadeous Chifamba has over 30 years’ experience in bilateral, regional, and multilateral negotiations and diplomacy. He currently serves as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the USA, Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico. The interview was conducted by Chiedza Juru, Deputy Editor in Chief of the Africa Policy Journal. Watch the full interview below.