Embassy of Italy - Harare
Ambasciata d'Italia - Harare
Italian Co-operation in Zimbabwe
Italy is amongst the major donors with regard to aid and cooperation in Zimbabwe, both bilaterally and through its contribution to the aid programmes of the European Union and to several organizations of the United Nations (FAO, WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP) and has presently allocated a total amount of approximately US$60 million to cooperation programmes.
The choices of the Italian Cooperation in Zimbabwe are intended to satisfy the principal development requirements of the country concentrating on the health and water resources sectors, as well as the need to modernise infrastructures.
The first Joint Commission agreement on technical and economic cooperation between Italy and Zimbabwe was signed in 1982, the second was signed in 1988 and the third in 1992. During recent times several of the projects included in the third protocol, which had been initially affected by budget restrictions, were approved. Most of the projects were accomplished and attained their respective objectives in a more than satisfactory manner.
A particularly important role in the strategy of the Italian Cooperation in Zimbabwe was carried out in the field of health, above all with the programme carried out, both directly by the Italian Cooperation as well as by the Italian NGO COSV, in the Mashonaland West province.
The Mashonaland West project, which started in 1985, has improved the management of health structures at provincial and district level, strengthened the links between rural and central health institutions and provided assistance to women and to children below the age of five.
From 1997 to 1999 the Italian Co-operation implemented a programme in the Mutoko District of Mashonaland East which concerned support to both the "Luisa Guidotti" missionary hospital and primary health care activities at district level.
In 1992 another programme for the control of diarrhoeal diseases took place with the aim of improving technical capabilities of the district and central health laboratories through the provision of equipment, reagents and technical expertise.
Italian aid interventions through international organizations proved to be most appreciated and very positive. The Forest Industries Training Centre in Mutare, built by the F.A.O. with Italian funding, was handed over to the local authorities at the end of 1997.
From 1994 to 1998 the Italian Co-operation implemented a programme valued at US$ 3,8 million for developement support communication in Southern Africa. The project functions as an international consultant for the promotion of works communication within the framework of development programmes at rural level.
In the field of water resources, Italy is well known for having built Kariba Dam, and since then the Mazvikadei, Osborne and Zhovhe dams. In the telecommunications sector, Italy has provided a soft loan for the realization of the Masvingo Telephone exchange, and the digitalization of the Midlands Province.
With regards to the European Union programmes in Zimbabwe, Italy is financing, under the 8th European Development Fund, the National Indicative Programme worth 110 million US$, in the following sectors:
Agriculture Services and Management Project;
Health Sector Support Programme;
Education Transition and Reform Programme.