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Zimbabwe must embrace 'spirit of optimism and confidence'

10 Feb 2021 at 06:16hrs | Views
IT is my singular honour and privilege to have been invited to address this virtual Africa Reconstruction Global Summit organised by the World Economic Congress.
The theme of this conference, Collaborating towards Economic Reconstruction of Zimbabwe and Africa, is most opportune.

The focus of the summit is also in tandem with my country's fortitude to quickly rebound following the deleterious effects of colonialism and economic sanctions.
We have the resilience to emerge in the post COVID-19 world, with an industrialised and modern society which competitively participates in Africa and the global economy.

Zimbabwe is a Christian nation, which is pleased to identify with the World Economic Congress and congratulates you for the impact the organisation continues to make since its formation.

The background of this summit is, indeed, significantly different to that which surrounded our last meeting.

The COVID-19 pandemic has gravely wounded the world economy with serious consequences to all communities and individuals.

The repercussions and impact on trade, investment and development will be far reaching.

However, we remain emboldened by the word of God which says that: "Whoever watches the wind will not plant, whoever looks at the clouds will not reap" (Ecclesiastes 11:4).
This gathering is aptly occurring soon after the starting of trading under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), on January 1, 2021.

The much-anticipated development and adoption of the Pan-African Payment Settlement System is equally progressing well.

The system will see the domestication of intra-continental trade payments, thereby saving Africa billions of dollars in payment transactions, while boosting trade among countries on the continent.

In addition, the African Union Assembly held over the weekend declared 2021-2031 as the "decade of African Roots and Diasporas".

The initiative recognises that the diaspora constitutes and important economic, social, political and cultural powerhouse in the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the development process of the continent.

These programmes are a bold demonstration by the current crop of African leaders to follow through the aspirations of the Founding Fathers of our continent to see a united, integrated and prosperous Africa.

The spirit of optimism and confidence in the prospects for Zimbabwe and Africa must lace our discourse around investments and partnerships towards economic reconstruction.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since March 2018, when we held the National Elders' Forum, in Harare, our country has put to action the National Vision 2030, which is to become an Empowered and Prosperous Upper Middle Income Economy by 2030.

The vision embodies the collective aspiration and determination of the people of Zimbabwe to rebuild and transform their economy, leveraging on the country's natural resources and competitive advantages.

The Transitional Stabilisation Programme ( TSP), which we implemented from October 2018 to December 2020, saw my government recalibrate its focus to new priorities such as macro-economic stability, governance, infrastructure development, inclusive economic growth and social services.

The successor police of the TSP, the National development Strategy 1 (2021-2025), will further give impetus to our economic growth and stability; food and nutrition security; governance; human capital development; environmental protection and climate resilience; housing delivery; establishment of a digital economy; strengthening our health and social protection infrastructure, among other pillars.

To deliver these priorities over the shortest possible timeframes, my administration is nurturing a culture of hard honest work, integrity, transparency and accountability. Delegates, interested investors and partners are, therefore, assured that Zimbabwe remains "open for business".

Esteemed delegates,

The country has vast opportunities in natural resource endowments, high literacy rates, highly skilled labour force, relatively developed basic infrastructure and a diversified industry.

Furthermore, our location along the South-North corridor gives us a geo-strategic advantage as a gateway into southern Africa and the entire African markets.

While shocks such as droughts, floods, cyclones and the current COVID-19 pandemic have naturally brought to the fore gaps in our structures, our economy remains resilient.

We also recognise that maintaining macroeconomic stability is an important part of the growth and investment equation of any country.

My government has, therefore, prioritised prudent fiscal and monetary policy and inflation control measures.

To this end, bold reforms are also being undertaken to eliminate market distortions, improve the ease of doing business environment, ensure the protection of private property rights and overall consolidate democracy and bolster free market enterprises.

Strides have been made in the development of a vibrant investment ecosystem, which is highly consistent and predictable.

The World Bank in 2019 acknowledged the country as one of the best performers in the world.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency acts as a vehicle for promoting an appropriate and competitive investment environment as a one-stop shop investment centre.

Government has since stabilised the exchange rate and slowed down price volatility.

The system has ensure foreign currency availability for raw materials, machinery and equipment, essential and strategic imports including pharmaceuticals, chemicals and fuel.

Similarly, the system enables availability of foreign currency for remittances of dividends.

In light of the ongoing developments under AfCFTA, Zimbabwe is a strategic investment destination.

A vibrant and thriving Zimbabweans economy will contribute to the attainment of Agenda 2063 and the realisation of the "Africa we all want".

The vast investment opportunities in our country are expansive and extend across all sectors of the economy.

We are grateful to Gold Almighty for the ongoing good rainfall patterns experienced this current agriculture season. The above normal rainfall will support agricultural production and productivity.

This is an unabridged version of Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa's address at the Africa Reconstruction Global Summit

Source - newsday
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