The Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dr Margaret Verwijk yesterday met Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, where they discussed ways of enhancing cooperation in media sector and women empowerment. Dr Verwijk paid a courtesy call on Minister Mutsvangwa at her Munhumutapa Offices.
In her remarks after the meeting, Minister Mutsvangwa said they had discussed ways of creating exchange programmes for journalists between the two countries.
“We want journalists who are exposed, we know that the world is becoming a global village and we want our reporters to, when they report, not report issues from an inward looking perspective, but be outward looking. Exposure is what we need,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said, as was enunciated by President Mnangagwa, the Government was opening up to other countries and invited journalists from The Netherlands to visit Zimbabwe and appreciate first hand what the country has to offer.
Zimbabwe and The Netherlands, said Minister Mutsvangwa, have a long history of working together. She said Harare was willing to partner the European country in the development of community radio stations. This comes after the Government has since licensed 10 community radio stations.
Minister Mutsvangwa said community radio stations were critical in propagating development issues at local level. On women empowerment, Minister Mutsvangwa said they discussed how Zimbabwean women in production of domestic wares could sell their products to The Netherlands. Dr Verwijk said their meeting came at an opportune time when the world was commemorating the Day of the Girl Child and urged women to utilise opportunities that were presented to them.
“The government of The Netherlands is an active partner; we work in partnership with other countries with Zimbabwe, its people and its leaders,” she said.
“We not only work together in aid, but in knowledge transfer in the areas of journalism and media.”
Dr Verwijk said she had been inspired by Minister Mutsvangwa, especially on her efforts in the media and establishment of community radio stations, which she said were critical in dissemination information to marginalised communities.