By Sydney Kawadza recently in Cairo, Egypt
Government has offered the African Union (AU) 2 000 hectares of land in the Victoria Falls area for the Wakanda One Village to be built jointly by Zimbabwe and Zambia as a nerve centre for development across Southern Africa.
Zambia has offered 132 hectares for the project.
The Wakanda concept involves building of African Centres of Excellence across the continent.
Wakanda One Village is looking at building five centres, one in each region, to serve as growth points.
Under the Wakanda project, Africans living in the Diaspora are expected to return home to participate in rebuilding the continent.
It targets investment by Africans across the globe.
In an interview at the inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair which ended on Monday this week in Cairo, Egypt, African Union Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United States, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao confirmed President Mnangagwa’s offer of land to the AU for the Wakanda One Village project.
“I met His Excellency President Mnangagwa recently and he offered us 2000 hectares for the regional Wakanda One Village in Victoria Falls. The offer comes after the Zambian Government has also offered some land across the river in Livingstone. We are looking at building the village transcending the borders of the two countries,” said Dr Chihombori-Quao.
The village project will provide state of the art healthcare facilities using advanced technology and onsite pharmaceutical manufacturing.
It is envisioned to comprise a 100-bed teaching hospital, a university and technical college, primary and secondary schools, day-care centres and three five-star hotels.
The project will also have a game lodge – Wakanda lodge, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, an agricultural farm, parks and other infrastructure to support development.
The infrastructure will include a shopping centre, commercial office buildings, renewable power plants, a monorail around the complex and roads ready to support self-driving electric cars.
Dr Chihombori-Quao said funding would be sourced through the African Diaspora Global Fund, which is expected to raise US$5 billion.
“This will be raised through the African Diaspora Saving and Investment Account or alternatively the African Diaspora Credit Union,” said Dr Chihombori-Quao.
Development of the project will begin with sensitisation of the Diaspora before board members are identified from all the regions of Africa.
The board to manage the fund and set the agenda would be headquartered in Washington DC, she said. It will decide on the value of shares and conversion factors.
“The establishment of an Investment Board should lead to the opening up of the African Diaspora Savings and Investment Accounts in the four banks.
“We will also encourage African Diaspora to open individual accounts with a minimum deposit of US$10 a month while the board will decide on the transition to a credit union,” said Dr Chihombori-Quao.
“We are looking at raising at least US$2 billion in the next two years with the first ground breaking set for the end of the year 2020.
“Besides Zimbabwe and Zambia offering land along the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls and Livingstone, respectively, Kenya and Tanzania have also pledged land in East Africa,” she added.
She said the idea was to build the Africa we all want.
“We are going to build the Africa that we want so those Diasporans who say I cannot go home because home is not what I am used to will make it what they want,” said Dr Chihombori-Quao.
She said there were 50 million Africans in Europe, 35 million in the Caribbean and 160 million in Central and South America.
Dr Chihombori-Quao said a monthly contribution of $10 by each African in the Diaspora would generate the funds to sustain the Wakanda One Village concept.
Meanwhile, the AU Mission in Washington DC launched a Diaspora Savings Account and Wakanda One Village this week at the African Diaspora Retreat at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Harbor in Baltimore, USA. The Herald