Fungi Kwaramba recently in NAIROBI, Kenya
ZIMBABWE continues to create an investment environment where capital is safe with the private sector being an essential partner in the development of the country as it heads towards Vision 2030 to become an upper-middle-class economy.
Speaking during a banquet hosted by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Nairobi State House, Wednesday night, President Mnangagwa invited investors from the eastern African country to invest in Zimbabwe where there are vast opportunities in various sectors.
“As a result of our ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ policy and responsive ease of doing business reforms, Zimbabwe continues to create an environment where capital can feel safe. I therefore invite Kenyan investors to take advantage of the many investment opportunities that Zimbabwe has to offer in the mining sector, tourism, manufacturing and human capital development among others. In the mining sector, when you come to Zimbabwe, don’t ask what minerals we have because we have many; you ask what minerals we don’t have, it’s easier to answer,” he said.
He added that the private sector is indispensable for Zimbabwe to realise sustainable development and achieve a higher quality of life for Zimbabweans, through development that leaves no one and no place behind.
In addition, the President said his Government was determined to entrench democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law and also foster peace and unity.
“The implementation of reforms across the social, economic and political spheres is ongoing in line with our Constitution and national interests of our people,” he said.
He told his host and guests at the banquet that in a few weeks’ time Zimbabwe will be holding by-elections in fulfilment of the country’s Constitution.
“The strides we are making in our country are despite that Zimbabwe continues to be burdened by illegal sanctions imposed on us by some Western countries, we are grateful however to the government of Kenya and to yourself, Your Excellency, for your consistency and unequivocal call for the immediate and unconditional removal of these illegal sanctions strangling our country,” he said.
But the silver lining in the sanctions was that they had taught Zimbabwe to look inwardly and come up with innovation hubs that were vital cogs in the modernisation and industrialisation of the country, the President said.
“The results (from the innovation hubs) are amazing, this is how sanctions have a positive side.”
Through innovation hubs established at all State universities, the country has come up with industries and inventions that are now substituting imports.
Yesterday President Mnangagwa visited one of Kenya’s innovation hubs in Kalibu, where he got an insight into how young people in that country were coming up with innovative ideas that included harnessing cellphones to make them e-learning tools.
“In Zimbabwe, we have introduced innovation hubs at every single State university and the results are just astounding. I have briefed my brother of how this has helped Zimbabwe even as we remain under sanctions.
“We are on our own. When sanctions were imposed on us all lines of credit were cut, even projects that were in the middle of implementation, such as loans were cut and withdrawn and our economy collapsed but we realised that all that is needed for a country to prosper are three primary things which are critical.
“The three things are people, land and then water. You need to work on the resources given to you by the Almighty above. The fourth and secondary aspect is you need external support in terms of acquisition of technology skills and possibly global funding.”
He said the interconnectedness of Zimbabwe and Kenya that is provided by Kenya Airways, which flies daily to Harare and Victoria Falls, is vital for the development of the two countries.
At one point there were 27 airlines flying into Zimbabwe but most withdrew following the imposition of economic sanctions by the West with the Ethiopian, South African and Kenyan airlines remaining.
“In the case of Zimbabwe, our economy is on a recovery and growth trajectory anchored on multi-pronged strategies which include the climate-proofing of our agriculture, through various initiatives such as the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme, dam construction and irrigation development, among others.
“A vibrant and expanding mining sector is yielding positive results while the accelerated infrastructure development has seen an unprecedented rate of construction of roads in Zimbabwe, dams and other infrastructure through the use of our local human and financial resources,” he said.
The President, who returned home yesterday said the country has adopted lessons from the lion which eats what it kills to survive.
“We grow our economy on the basis of our resources, we modernise our economy, industrialise our economy on the basis of the availability of resources in our country.”
The President had planned to visit Kenya earlier, but with the Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying travel restrictions, the State visit was delayed.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is now expected to officially open this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
On the recent granting of full citizenship to Zimbabweans who migrated to Kenya in the 1960s, the President said the gesture attests to the warm relations that exist between the two countries.
“The similarities we share in agriculture, tourism and wildlife management, and manufacturing sectors, among others, present opportunities which must be explored for the benefit of our economies and our peoples,” he said.
Additionally, he said, shared aspirations between Zimbabwe and Kenya must inspire the two nations to work together in the science and technology fields, among other sectors, to innovatively come up with “made in Africa” materials.
He said while in the past people of his generation aspired to be teachers, nurses, and clerks, the youth of today are exposed to the digital world and are creative.
On the global stage, the President said the world currently needed multilateralism and negotiation and also reiterated his call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council to make it more democratic, responsive, and representative.