Zimbabwe Interested in Using Russian Satellites for Broadcasting, Minister Says
19:03 04.07.2023 (Updated: 14:41 05.07.2023)
Russian space agency Roscosmos has announced that the country reached an agreement with Zimbabwe to cooperate in the production and launch of small satellites for educational and communication purposes.
Zimbabwe should cooperate with Russia in space exploration, specifically in satellite telecommunications, to acquire much-needed expertise in this sphere and use Russian satellite systems for broadcasting, said Monica Mutsvangwa, minister of information, publicity and broadcasting of Zimbabwe, in an exclusive interview with Sputnik Africa.
According to Mutsvangwa, the need for cooperation in this particular field stems from the desire to reduce the country's dependence on Western satellite systems and ensure that it broadcasts "the right and correct content" for Zimbabweans.
"We need to cooperate [...]. I'm talking as the Minister of Information Publicity in Broadcasting Services, we need to cooperate and use Russian satellite systems for broadcasting. And just not solely depend on Western satellite systems," she stressed.
She further elaborated that as Russia "is very well known" in the field of space exploration and satellite technology, there are a lot of opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in broadcasting and telecommunications
The minister also touched upon the topic of Zimbabwean-Russian relations
in other areas, highlighting that there are numerous opportunities to explore. She explained that the main evidence supporting this notion is that Russian delegations come to Zimbabwe at the official and corporate levels to forge bilateral relations.
"Zimbabwe and Russia have a lot of mutually beneficial growth potential opportunities," she said.
In particular, she pointed to cooperation in agriculture and trade, noting that the countries can build joint partnerships in farming citrus and macadamia nuts. According to the minister, Zimbabwe is willing to develop trade with Russia and other BRICS member states, as it can provide them with "a lot of fruits." She added that in trade with Russia, other alternative digital payments could be used to bypass SWIFT.
"Russia has long winters, so we need to sign protocols for horticulture and more specifically macadamia, which is the 'golden nut,'" she said.
She also mentioned cooperation in tourism, stating that Zimbabwe could become attractive for Russians as an alternative tourist destination. Mutsvangwa noted that enhancing tourism could help to boost people-to-people relationships between the two nations.
Earlier this year, Barbara Rwodzi, Zimbabwe's deputy minister of environment, climate, tourism and hospitality industry, told Sputnik
that Russian tourists have already made a significant contribution to the development of tourism in the country. According to her, Harare has high expectations from cultivating relations with Russia in the tourism sector.
Mutsvangwa echoed the deputy minister's remarks, saying that Zimbabweans "are friendly" and happy to welcome "a lot of our good brothers and sisters."
"We want to encourage joint partnerships and this will be done on win-win conditions," Mutsvangwa said, reiterating: "So really there are too many areas of cooperation and there are all the reasons why Russia and Zimbabwe should explore to mutually benefit."