Strategy 2023-2026 - Zimbabwe

Netherlands Embassy Harare Strategy 2023-2026

Multi-Annual Country Strategy 2023-2026 Zimbabwe

Disclaimer: The Multi-Annual Country Strategy (MACS) has been drafted for internal planning 
purposes within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. This condensed version of the 
MACS can be used for purposes of coordination and exchange with development partners, host 
governments or other relevant actors. No rights and/or obligations can be derived from this 


This Multi-Annual Country Strategy (MACS) outlines the areas of international cooperation in which 
the Netherlands wishes to collaborate with Zimbabwe for the period 2023-2026. This document is a 
condensed version containing the policy priority areas and objectives. The resources supporting 
this strategy are assigned through the annual budget and annual planning cycles. The implementation 
of this strategy is monitored on a regular basis and adjustments are formalised through subsequent 
annual plans.


I   The Netherlands and Zimbabwe

The Netherlands opened an Embassy in Harare after Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 and
became a key development partner of the country for many years. The relationship started to change
in character and intensity around the turn of the century after it was impacted by the political 
crises and human rights violations taking place in the country, as well as the land reform policies 
and the expropriation of more than 80 Dutch-owned farms. A large number of these owners have a 
legal right to compensation under a ratified Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPPA), but 
have not been compensated yet. This issue remains a hurdle in the bilateral relationship.

The Netherlands believes that the compensation of expropriated farmers is not only a matter of 
justice and respect of international treaties, but is also a prerequisite for an enabling business 
environment in which good governance and rule of law provide fertile ground for unlocking the 
economic potential of Zimbabwe through expanded trade and foreign direct investment, as well as 
improved external political relations.

In the area of trade relations, the Netherlands remains Zimbabwe’s most important gateway to the 
European market, primarily for agricultural products. Currently, the Netherlands is the destination 
country of 70% of Zimbabwe’s fresh produce exports.

The Netherlands has been a partner and supporter of many non-governmental organizations and human 
rights defenders working in Zimbabwe on the advancement of sustainable trade, the international 
legal order and social progress, as well as other topics.

II  Objectives for 2023-2026

For the period 2023-2026, the Netherlands promotes the following five main objectives in its 
cooperation with Zimbabwe:

1. The international legal order and human rights, focusing on support for:

•  Gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response as GBV undermines opportunities for women 
and girls and denies them access to basic rights. As women are underrepresented as voters and 
leaders, in elected office, the private sector and civil service, we also support their equal 
participation and leadership.
•  The protection of human rights defenders among a shrinking democratic space and the erosion of 
the rule of law.
•  Youth with knowledge, tools and opportunities to defend their right to free expression.
•  (Young) persons who identify as LGBTIQ+. Everyone should be free to be who they are and live the 
life they choose while enjoying equal rights.

2. Sustainable trade:
The Netherlands pursues responsible, climate resilient and sustainable trade whilst contributing to 
poverty reduction, sustainable rural livelihoods, improving yields and gender equality. It aims to 
achieve mutual benefit in Zimbabwe by promoting innovation, social businesses, startups and 
agribusiness. Building on previous experience and success, a coherent program will support:

•  Improvements in fruits and vegetables production and export to the Netherlands/Europe.
•  Female entrepreneurs.
•  Youth entrepreneurship, employment and digital technology.

3. Social progress and climate change:
We pursue and strengthen social progress and climate change actions through various programs. These 
initiatives prioritize the participation of women and youth. For a summary of the current support 
of the Netherlands for climate action in Zimbabwe, please see:  Action on Climate Change in Zimbabwe.

4. European cooperation:
Our cooperation with Zimbabwe for the coming years is aligned with and supportive of joint 
activities by the EU on gender and climate-smart agriculture, as well as the stimulation of 
political and economic reforms to promote these activities.

5. Consular services and the promotion of Dutch values and interests:
We aim to maintain excellent consular services by working together and seeking tailor-made 
solutions. Services include bi-annual ‘consular pop-ups’ in Zambia and Malawi. Public diplomacy 
initiatives will showcase to our audiences what the Netherlands excels at.


We pursue the above-listed objectives through collaboration with our partners on projects. In 
cooperation with Zimbabwean partners, there is a strong and deliberate focus on working with
women and youth (education and employability).

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Kingdom of The Netherlands
Sub-Saharan Africa Department (DAF)      

Rijnstraat 8
2515 XP Den Haag
The Netherlands

Netherlands Embassy, 2 Arden Road,
Newlands, Harare Zimbabwe

Facebook Dutch Embassy Zimbabwe
Twitter @NLinZimbabwe and @MVerwijk
LinkedIn Netherlands Embassy to Zimbabwe,
Zambia and Malawi