Business Community Development

Honour of excellence: Kallon receives The Diplomat Magazine & Diplomacy Appreciation

Mr. Edward Kallon (C) flanked by Reginald Chapfunga (L) and Dr. Solomon Guramatunhu (R) at the awards ceremony

Mr. Edward Kallon, the United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Zimbabwe received the prestigious award from the Diplomat Magazine in appreciation of his immense contribution to development and diplomacy.

Since the presentation of his credentials in March this year, Mr. Edward Kallon, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator has had a busy nine months.

He convened together with Chief Secretary to President and Cabinet high-level stakeholders meeting to take stock of the UN’s contribution to national development amounting to USD 523 million in various programmes and projects and set in motion the implementation of a new five-year Zimbabwe UN Cooperation Framework with US2.8billion to be mobilized to support national programmes in social services, gender equality, economic progress, peace, and good governance and food security and climate action.

Mr. Kallon went on a whirlwind of engagement with a myriad of stakeholders to foster partnerships for sustainable development, interacting with communities and local leaders across all 10 provinces of the country, featured in various high-level social, economic, and political discourses articulating that only international cooperation, multilateral and diplomacy can lead to shared prosperity, economic progress, and preservation of the global common good.

Strengthening partnerships to accelerate momentum on SDGs in Zimbabwe, Mr. Edward Kallon has brought extensive experience to his new role this year leading the 25 UN entities that comprise the UN Country Team in Zimbabwe, after helping to tackle long-term developmental and complex humanitarian challenges in his previous role as the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria for five years (2017-2021).

The implementation of the new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, the roadmap for sustainable development between the UN and the Government of Zimbabwe (2022-2026), will see a systematic scaling of joint approaches and partnerships.

The outreach and coordination efforts deployed by the Resident Coordinator resulted in an increased number of UN entities signing up to participate in the Cooperation Framework– an increment of about 40%, from 18 to 25 UN entities (including nine UN entities lending their expertise from their regional or headquarters hub, having no physical presence in the country).

Especially noteworthy is the leadership of the Resident Coordinator with the UN Country Team in working jointly to help address priority development challenges in the country.

This is especially evident in the Spotlight Initiative, a partnership of the United Nations with the European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls – which, in Zimbabwe, is implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs and other partners to support women and girls living with disabilities, HIV and in rural settings. In September 2022, the Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative won the Fortitude Award at the Global Learning Symposium held in Cancún, Mexico. To date, the programme has reached over 5 million beneficiaries and established national prevention mechanisms along with equipping law enforcement with state-of-art forensic labs to bring perpetrators to justice.

The Resident Coordinator has also helped mobilize and is providing strategic direction to a USD 10 million grant from the UN’s Joint SDG Fund for the UN Country Team, to catalyze investments in climate and sustainable energy for productive use and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Together with another USD 3.7 million from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), is helping leverage an estimated USD 35 million in partnerships with financial institutions such as the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, Old Mutual Investment Group and Zimnat Asset Management, to enhance access by women and youth to renewable energy in rural areas of Zimbabwe.

The Resident Coordinator is also convening a high-level platform bringing together the Government, national stakeholders and the international community for a national dialogue to ensure consolidation of gains in the ongoing economic and democratic reform efforts of the country to unlock support for Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy, a medium-to-long-term plan to achieve the SDGs.

Mr Edward Kallon of Sierra Leone presented his credentials on 03 March 2022 as the Representative of the UN Secretary-General, and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to the Republic of Zimbabwe to His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

Mr Kallon has devoted more than 30 years of his career to public service, working – both at the United Nations and externally – in complex emergency, transition and development contexts in conflict and non-conflict settings across lower- and middle-income countries.

At the United Nations, he most recently served as the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, following an assignment as Resident Coordinator in Jordan. He also held senior positions with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda after starting his United Nations career as a United Nations Volunteer assigned to WFP in Afghanistan.

Commenting on the success of the recent award, Mr. Reginald Chapfunga, the Editor of the Diplomat Magazine said the accolade was befitting.

“Mr. Kallon is a career development advocate who is committed to promoting sustainable development goals, with a focus on equality for all, ending hunger and poverty, addressing inequalities hindering progress, inclusive education, peace and harmony, among other key deliverables. Zimbabwe is on course to attain its Vision 2030 Agenda through cooperation with development partners like the UN under the guidance of Mr. Kallon,” Mr. Chapfunga said.

Ambassador of the European Union to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Jobst von Kirchmann, when he officially accepted the Chairmanship of the #HeForShe Diplomatic Group in Harare yesterday, said society can achieve great results in the private and public arena if women and men have equal opportunities and if those in positions of power in different spheres, like Mr Edward Kallon, speak out against gender inequality, support initiatives that seek to promote gender equality and use their influence to challenge the status quo.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende