Production of infant formula in Zimbabwe by a Belarusian company, Bellakt, is on cards after first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa signalled interests during her visit to Belarus.
The First Lady is leading a delegation to Belarus which consists of her twin sons, Collins and Sean, as Zimbabwe deepens relations with its new found ally.
According to reports in Belarus, she is on a visit to Belarus as the European country ‘assists’ Zimbabwe to improve its health system.
Her visit to Belarus follows a similar visit by the country’s president Alexander Lukashenko to Harare in February.
In an interview with Belarus State owned paper, Belta, Mnangagwa expressed her desire to work with Bellakt.
“I am very glad I have visited the company. We learned that the company produces baby food for children from 0 to 3 years old. We want to establish cooperation with the company to consider the expansion of its production, and launching its production in Zimbabwe. This would contribute to the development of our country.
“Zimbabwe is located in the center of the Southern African region. The countries around us could also benefit from such cooperation. Both mothers and women in our country would also welcome such cooperation. It is very important when a child’s health can be ensured from the earliest days,” she said.
If the Zimbabwe and the Belarusian company reach an agreement, Bellakt will in the initial stage supply ready-made baby food before dispatching technological operations to the Southern African country.
Grodno Oblast Governor Vladimir Karanik said Belarus has the wherewithal to see the proposed cooperation to fruition.
“We discussed various options for cooperation between Grodno Oblast and Zimbabwe. Mrs Auxillia Mnangagwa pays a lot of attention to the health of women and the organization of children’s health. This means good nutrition and access to medical care. Therefore, the production of baby food is, probably, one of the priorities of her visit.
“We can fully satisfy Zimbabwe’s needs in baby food. The capacities of Bellakt are enough for that. Given the geographical location of Zimbabwe, active interaction with its neighbours, it is proposed to consider the possibility of joint production, which will cover not only the needs of Zimbabwe, but also other African countries. Of course, this project requires elaboration, analysis of both the raw material zone and its economic efficiency.
“I know that there will be an exhibition in Zimbabwe, where representatives of Bellakt plan to take part. This event will help the Belarusian company to continue the negotiations. I am sure that Bellakt products will be present in Zimbabwe. The timeframe and the form (as a finished product supplied from Volkovysk, or as a product manufactured in Zimbabwe using our company’s technology) is a matter of negotiation and time,” said Vladimir Karanik. *DestinyMedia*