UN spotlights SDGs through community dialogue at ZITF

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30 April 2019, Harare – The United Nations System participated in this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo with over 1,350 people visiting the exhibition stand highlighting Sustainable Development Goals from 25 to 27 April.

The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, which ran from 23 to 27 April under the theme Propagating Industrial Growth Through Trade and Investment, is an annual multi-national expo which provides a convenient trade hub for the region and welcomes both trade and public visitors. This year marked the Diamond Jubilee of ZITF which was officially opened by the President of Zimbabwe, H.E. Emerson Mnangagwa and the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Museveni.

The UN exhibition displayed materials from all 16 UN agencies in Zimbabwe, providing an opportunity for the UN to engage the public on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Global Goals (SDGs) as well as the work the UN is doing in support of national development efforts under the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF).

The ZUNDAF has six priority areas of food and nutrition security; social services and protection; gender equality; HIV and AIDS; public administration and governance; and poverty reduction and value addition. As of December 2018, the UN has delivered over USD 1.2 billion in various development programmes and projects out of the USD 1.6 billion to be mobilised by the end of 2020.

Public visitors to this year’s ZITF engaged with UN staff members at the United Nations in Zimbabwe information stand about the SDGs, particularly pertaining to poverty reduction, eradiation of hunger, promotion of gender equality, which are some of the key issues facing Zimbabwe.

It was inspiring to see how many young people stopped by the UN exhibition stand to talk to UN staff, which gave the opportunity for UN agencies to share information on how their work is benefiting the youth in Zimbabwe.

Further engagement with the youth was centred particularly on the UN Volunteers (UNV) programme as many expressed their interest in working with at the UN one day. UNV is an organization whose mission is to mobilize volunteers to serve in UN agencies, both in development programmes and peacekeeping operations around the world and advocate for volunteerism and civic engagement in peace and development.

ZITF was also an opportunity for the UN to network and engage with the media who are the main source of information to many people in the country. Information Officer of United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Harare, Mrs. Tafadzwa Mwale, had interviews on several radio stations including Capitalk 100.4 FM, ZiFM Stereo, Power FM, Khulumani FM, National FM and to name a few.

A number of universities were also represented at ZITF and the UN took this as an opportunity to share UN publications for use in university libraries. In particular, the UN shared copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, publications on women’s role in conflict resolution, as well as UNDP’s 2017 Human Development Report to National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Great Zimbabwe University, Lupane State University and Africa University.