AU Foundation joins the Zimbabwean government to auction 300 cattle donated by President Mugabe to resource the organisation

(From L-R) Zimbabwe Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Simbarashe S. Mumbengegwi; AU Foundation Chief Operations Officer, Mr Dumisani Mngadi and Minister of State for Provincial Affairs – Midlands, Mr J.M.K. Machaya.

(From L-R) Zimbabwe Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Simbarashe S. Mumbengegwi; AU Foundation Chief Operations Officer, Mr Dumisani Mngadi and Minister of State for Provincial Affairs – Midlands, Mr J.M.K. Machaya.

Gweru, Zimbabwe, May 11, 2017: With a population of over 1 billion people, Africans need to take a lead in financing its own developmental programmes, said African Union (AU) Foundation’s Chief Operations Office, Dumisani Mngadi during the auctions of cattle donated to organisation by President Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe. 

The donation of a herd of 300 cattle to resource the young AU Foundation was pledged by President Mugabe during his tenure as the AU Chairperson during the 25th AU Summit, held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Over 300 cattle will be auctioned in a series of events that will take place nationwide throughout the month of May. This week, Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, and Gweru – in the midlands – were a buzz of activity as they hosted the first two auctions. 

Speaking during the auctions, Mngadi expressed gratitude to Zimbabweans for this gesture and explained that the AU Foundation was formed by African heads of state to find new ways of generating domestic resources to fund African developmental programmes and support the AU’s vision of an Africa that is at peace with itself.

“To develop and realise the vision set out in Agenda 2063, Africans need to finance their own programmes and institution like the AU cannot rely on funding from countries outside our continent to finance its development programmes and projects, that model is not sustainable. We need to be innovative and come up with African solutions to our African challenges,” said Mngadi.  

“When making the pledge, President Mugabe reminded us that Africans are cattle people and that we measure our prosperity by the herd of our cattle. This donation speaks to Africans being innovative and coming up with African solutions to our African challenges. It also explores alternative sources of funding, as opposed to relying solely on international donor funds.

Our continent is rich in mineral resources, in agriculture and in its people as its key resources, these are all forms of alternative sources of funding”, remarked Mngadi.
He further called on other African nations to follow in the Zimbabwean example to resource the AU Foundation.

(Image: African Union Foundation)

Leading the auctions on behalf of the government of Zimbabwe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simbarashe S. Mumbengegwi, said Zimbabwean farmers supported the president’s gesture and offered to volunteer cattle from their ranches on behalf of the president.

“President Mugabe takes our (AU) organisation’s interests very seriously and they are very close to his heart. He has always been a strong voice in Africans financing their own organisation and would say ‘whoever pays the piper chooses the tune’. Therefore, as long as outsiders finance our institutions they will dictate the agenda. This donation to the AU Foundation is an indication of how seriously he takes self-financing, said Mumbengegwi.

He added, “The cattle have exceeded the 300 mark that was set by the president and auctions are going to be held all over the country. The proceeds that will be generated from the auctions will be presented during the upcoming AU Summit, set to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July.”

Mngadi said the AU Foundation would channel the proceeds from the auctions to fund its youth and women empowerment programmes. These include the African youth innovation project that was unveiled at the African Economic Platform in Mauritius.
“One of the key projects of the AU Foundation is the eradication of the hand-held hoe as a way of transforming subsistence agriculture on the continent through mechanization to ensure that women farmers yield a higher produce that is of great standards and is commercially competitive whilst using their land, said Mngadi.

For further information, please contact

Mrs Aurelia Mbokazi
PR and Communication’s Manager, African Union Foundation
Tel: +27 11313 5105
Email: am@africaunion.org  
Website: www.africaunionfoundation.org

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@african-union.org I Web Site: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia