Zambia and Zimbabwe have jointly offered 2132 hectares of land to African Union for the first SADC multi-billion dollar Wakanda One Village project.
Zimbabwe offered 2000 hectares of land while Zambia brought forward 132 hectares.
Zambia made its offer in March last year and Zimbabwe’s offer was confirmed by African Union Ambassador to the United States of America Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao at the Intra African Trade Fair which was held in Cairo, Egypt recently.
The Wakanda One Village project will be constructed in Victoria Falls area which borders the two countries.
According to media reports, the project will serve as a first of its kind in Southern Africa region.
It is set to include a 100-bed teaching hospital, a university and a technical college, primary and secondary schools, day-care centres, three five-star hotels, a game lodge, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, agricultural farms and parks, to mention the few.
The project takes its name from the technologically advanced, fictitious African country from Marvel’s Black Panther superhero franchise, which spawned a hugely successful film last year.
According to Zimbabwe’s The Herald, Zimbabwe has pledged 2,000 hectares to the project while Zambia has offered 132 hectares.
African Union ambassador to the United States, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao at an Intra African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt, confirmed: “I met His Excellency President Mnangagwa recently and he offered us 2,000 hectares for the regional Wakanda One in Victoria Falls.
“The offer also comes in when the Zambian government has also offered some land across the river in Livingstone. So we are looking at building the village straggling the border between the countries.”
According to The Herald, the Wakanda One project is in line with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision for a new Zimbabwe.
He reportedly wants to turn Zimbabwe into an upper-middle-class economy by 2030, driven by tourism, agriculture, and mining.
Mnangagwa, who in November officially took over from Robert Mugabe, who ruled the country for 37 years, certainly has his work cut out for him, as the country is currently facing a severe economic crisis.The Citizen reported on Saturday that Mnangagwa announced a massive fuel hike that saw prices more than double, from R19 a litre to R45 a litre.
Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s former deputy and veteran of the ruling ZANU-PF party, has faced a new wave of turmoil since last year, as prices rocket and shortages spread, from bread to fuel.In October, before he was inaugurated, Zimbabwe’s new president urged citizens to stay calm as drivers queued for hours for rationed petrol and those with money stockpiled any food for sale.
The shortages have reportedly created a thriving black market.
Zimbabwe’s worsening economic crisis has also had a devastating effect on access to medicine, with prices pushed up beyond what many can afford.
(Additional reporting by AFP)