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China, Zimbabwe Sign MOU on Rural Development
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China and Zimbabwe on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding in the areas of construction, rural housing and social amenities to enhance economic development and improve the living standards of the people.


Speaking at the signing ceremony in Harare, Zimbabwean Rural Housing and Social Amenities Minister Emerson Mnangagwa said the development would enable the two countries to share experiences and assistance in rural development.


The assistance, he said, would also help the ministry complete some of its rural development programs.


"About 70 percent of our population live in the rural areas," he said.


Therefore the signing of this MOU marks a significant step in technical cooperation, technology, experience and knowledge sharing in rural development between the two countries, the minister said.


He said the cooperation demonstrated the deep solidarity, friendship and warm relations that exist between China and Zimbabwe.


Chinese Assistant Minister of Construction Liu Zhifeng urged the two countries to continue working together to improve the cordial relationships that bond them together.


"What we have achieved today is just the beginning of greater things to come," he said.


"We should continue to work together and promote further cooperation between the two countries."


The MOU was initiated last year when Mnangagwa led a delegation to China to study policies and programs put in place to develop rural areas.


The Zimbabwean government aims by 2007 to have refurbished at least five rural schools in each of the country's 59 districts and construct 50 institutional houses for rural public servants.


Construction of 30 market stalls and at least one model homestead in each of the remaining four rural provinces should also be completed by year end.


(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2007)

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