Arts & Culture

AFD pours €3m into Great Zimbabwe Development Project


MASVINGO-The French Development Agency (AFD) has extended a €3 million grant to support the conservation, documentation, and development of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage National Monument site.

 The funding will be used to purchase critical equipment and infrastructure, as well as launch key strategic initiatives to enhance the site’s management and promote sustainable tourism.

Ministry of Home Affairs and Heritage Raphael Faranisi handing over equipment donated by funding partner, UNESCO.

The project, which was officially launched at the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage site by President Mnangagwa in 2022, is aimed at stimulating inclusive cultural development and strengthening the national capacity for heritage preservation and management.

With part of the grant angled to acquire geo-spatial equipment, including a tractor mower, computers, laptops, cameras, surveying instruments, and balancing weight instruments.

In addition, the funding will cover the official launch of the Tourism and Marketing Strategy, Integrated Management Plan, and the Interpretation Framework, all of which are designed to improve the management and promotion of the site.

  Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture Heritage permanent secretary, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi commended the French government for the partnership and their commitment to heritage research, conservation, and management.

Home Affairs Perm Sec, Raphael Faranisi having a feel of the tractor donated by funders.

 Faranisi highlighted that the Great Zimbabwe Development Project is anchored on driving inclusive cultural development.

“The main objective of this project is to stimulate sustainable inclusive development and culture heritage of Zimbabwe through enhancing world heritage sites, strengthening national capacity as well as promoting interlinkages with the local community and global economy,” he said.

Provincial Affairs Secretary Dr. Addmore Pazvakavambwa underscored the significance of Great Zimbabwe as the cradle of the country’s national heritage and the flagship of the province, stating that the site is the umbilical cord that connects the nation to its past.

He equated the people without knowledge of their heritage, origin and culture to a “tree without roots”.

The acting board chairperson for the National Museum and Monument of Zimbabwe, Professor Munyaradzi Manyanga, acknowledged that Great Zimbabwe is currently underutilized in terms of visitation and tourism facilities, despite its great potential for economic growth.

He emphasized the need for all stakeholders to collaborate for the betterment of the site and the surrounding community.

The launch event was attended by government officials, development partners from the United Nations agencies, as well as representatives from the French, Australian, and United States embassies.

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