ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Malawi, Hilda Suka-Mafudze has been deployed as the new African Union (AU) envoy to Washington.
She is replacing Arikana Chihombori-Quao who was fired last November over alleged abuse of funds.
Suka-Mafudze who served as an MDC legislator for Mhondoro constituency from 2000 to 2005 said she was humbled by the opportunity to represent the continent.
“I am humbled and appreciative to be able to represent my continent in the US.
“I am certainly going to use this as an African to contribute better to the Africa we want.
“I am a true pan-Africanist and I know what we really need as Africa and where we want to be as Africans, all this is in my heart and on my fingertips.”
Suka-Mafudze also added that “what we want as Africa is to be on the global stage as an equal with others. We have what it takes and no one must, therefore, look down upon us.
“As Africa, we are at a stage where we know what we want and we obviously cannot, for example, continue to let our resources be taken as raw materials by people who by so doing are taking employment away from us.
“There are challenges on the continent, but we have to look at how to deal with those challenges and this opportunity is one way of finding solutions and I am humbled to be part of that.”
On her vision for the continent, the Washington bound diplomat said wants to contribute towards the AU vision of intra-trade and also alert to the need to entrench relations with the US.
She said also urged Africa to speak with one voice going forward.
“I represent the African Union, my chairman (Moussa Faki Mahamat) but I must also say I am humbled by the support I got from my country, Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and his entire team,” Suka-Mafudze said.
Adding that as Africa there was a need to invest in infrastructure development so as to attract investors but that the the relationship with investors should also be on a win-win basis.
Suka-Mafudze was appointed ambassador to Malawi last year by President Mnangagwa.