Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti visits Australia to discuss food security and on-going stabilisation
12 September, 2012
A woman stands in her crop of maize, that grows around her home in Epworth, in Harare, Zimbabwe in April 2009. Australia is using its expertise and experience to help improve food security in African countries. Photo: Kate Holt / Africa Practice
Zimbabwean Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, is currently in Australia meeting with various government officials, discussing Australia’s ongoing support for the country’s development.
Mr Biti met with Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Bob Carr, and AusAID Director General, Peter Baxter, in Canberra today.
Minister Biti highlighted concerns about the 2012-13 farming season in Zimbabwe, where food had become a real issue because of rising prices and last season’s poor harvest.
Senator Carr said Australia would continue to work with Zimbabwe to help them become more food secure.
Following the formation of the Inclusive Government in February 2009, Australia joined the international community to make a strong commitment to help stabilise Zimbabwe by supporting recovery and reform, including through increased development assistance.
'The priority sectors for aid engagement in Zimbabwe are food security and agriculture, water and sanitation and economic governance,' Senator Carr said.
'Australia has provided approximately $177 million in aid to Zimbabwe since the formation of the Inclusive Government.'
p>AusAID has been assisting the Zimbabwe Revenue Office to improve its ability to collect taxation revenue. Mr Biti will also meet with the Australian Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo, as well as with Dr Philip Lowe, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Mr Biti is a founding member of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change. He played a key role in the negotiations facilitated by the Southern African Development Community which led to the formation of the inclusive government in Zimbabwe in February 2009 and was subsequently appointed Minister of Finance of the Inclusive Government.
During his visit, Minister Biti said that Australian technical assistance to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) had been particularly useful. He also strongly welcomed Australian support for the Africa Development Bank-managed Zim Fund, which is currently the main source of funding for rehabilitation of critical infrastructure.
Australia is a friend of Zimbabwe and is committed to seeing the country have a peaceful and prosperous future for its people.
Last Reviewed: 12 September, 2012