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Zimbabwe steps up re-engagement with US, investors

by Staff reporter
14 Dec 2022 at 06:29hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE will use the United States-Africa summit which opened here yesterday to court investors, and initiate further dialogue with the US both on the political and economic fronts, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Frederick Shava, has said.

A Zimbabwean delegation, led by Minister Shava is currently in Washington DC attending the US-Africa summit, a first for the country, largely because of the success of President Mnangagwa's engagement and re-engagement initiative.

Although the US, which is hosting the conference, invited Zimbabwe, it did so at ministerial level and Minister Shava told journalists that he will use his meetings with the US Government officials to stress the importance of having direct engagements with President Mnangagwa.

"This is the first time that Zimbabwe has been invited, and it's a good thing on the part of America that they are willing to engage us in dialogue. We look forward to this dialogue and to exploring means of working together with the Americans in terms of doing business together.

"We would have preferred a situation where the invitation was extended to the President and we will be making this point that such an invitation be made at the level of the Head of State so that Zimbabwe can participate at maximum," said Minister Shava.

Zimbabwe's Ambassador to the US, Tadeous Chifamba, also expressed similar sentiments.

"This is a major one for Zimbabwe because this is the first that Zimbabwe has been invited. While it is important that the invitation was extended to Zimbabwe, we hoped that the invitation would be to the President, all the same Zimbabwe decided that under the circumstances the Minister participates on behalf of the President."

Several African leaders have been invited to the summit that seeks among other things to enhance relations between the two parties and tackle global challenges.

Just like at the September United Nations General Assembly, progressive nations are also expected to denounce and call for the unconditional removal of the illegal economic sanctions that have cost Zimbabwe no less than US$100 billion and negatively impacted on the country's critical sectors.

Since coming to power, President Mnangagwa has stressed that "Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none", through the pillar foreign policy of Engagement and Re-engagement.  

"We want to take advantage of this opportunity to step up the level of engagement, in terms of both the issues being discussed as well as the rank in terms of senior officials at the ministerial level, this summit provides us with the opportunity of those interactions," said Ambassador Chifamba.

Thus it will be a tight schedule for Minister Shava, who will not only be on a diplomatic charm offensive but will also be engaging investors, in line with his ministry's other key mandate, international trade.

"The Minister will engage the Government of the United States, capital and the business community, so its an opportunity," said Ambassador Chifamba.

On the economic diplomacy front, Zimbabwe continues to reap huge dividends from President Mnangagwa's Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra.

"There is growing interest in Zimbabwe, you may be aware that the US recently established the American Chamber of Commerce in Zimbabwe, which is the vehicle through which they facilitate or try to encourage American investors to come to Zimbabwe. On our part as an embassy, we have been active in encouraging investors to come to Zimbabwe and there is a lot of interest in mining, biotechnology as well as in manufacturing," said Ambassador Chifamba.

He added that the Zimbabwean diaspora has also taken a keen interest in investing back home, taking advantage of President Mnangagwa's invitation for them to grab the low hanging opportunities in various sectors of the economy and also serving as ambassadors of the country in their various stations.

Source - The Herald