Kudzanai Sharara in VICTORIA FALLS
President Mnangagwa has urged the media to take a leading role in disseminating information to the world that Zimbabwe is in a new era and open for business.
Speaking at the 5th CEO Africa Round-table Conference underway here, the President said the media should continuously share Zimbabwe’s vision and aspirations with the rest of the world.
“The media must take a leading, deliberate and patriotic stance that esteems our national interests, unity, values and aspirations, by disseminating information to the rest of the world, pronouncing that it is a new era and Zimbabwe is Open for Business.”
President Mnangagwa said as a country, there was need to shift from engaging only on political discourse, but to talk about the economy for the betterment of the people of Zimbabwe.
“Let us shift from being about politics, politics, politics; the new dispensation is about economics, economics and economics for the betterment of all the people in Zimbabwe,” said the President.
“I challenge you, therefore, whether you report on sports, on politics, economics or social life, remember you belong here. This is your country and you are Zimbabwean.
“Strive for reportage that inspires, that tells a true story and portrays the pictures of hope and a bright tomorrow. Zimbabwe is ours together.”
President Mnangagwa said it will take patriotism, diligence, hard work, change of mindsets and collective efforts to reset the economy towards growth and macro-economic stability.
“Due attention must be given to micro and macro fundamentals in order to restore the country’s growth potential,” he said. “In addition, our people need to be empowered to actively participate in the economy in our quest to make the country an industrial, commercial and trade hub of the region.”
President Mnangagwa said there was need to embrace and accept each other “in our diversity”, be it in language, religion, ethnicity, culture or geographical location.
“As a united force, we can rebuild the walls of Zimbabwe in the shortest possible time,” said President Mnangagwa.
Turning to the CEOs, President Mnangagwa said his government will continue with an open door policy which facilitated cross pollination of ideas and will further consistently create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
“As CEOs, your professional skills, competencies, business acumen and global exposure puts you in an integral vantage point and strategic position in our vision for socio-economic transformation,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the CEOs forum created a platform for business networking and provided decision makers from multi-sectorial private and public institutions with an opportunity to dialogue on important current and future economic issues.
President Mnangagwa said the conference further enabled Government and the private sectors to deliberate on topical issues to enhance economic space, improve the ease of doing business and set the country firmly on new economic path.
“Meanwhile, the public sector should re-orient, refocus and recalibrate to facilitate private sector growth and development by, for example, drawing lessons from successful economics such as China, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, among others,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said business and industry leaders in both the public and private sector should show the way, by for example, inculcating a culture of integrity, accountability, transparency and hard honest work.
“I further urge you to practice good corporate governance at all times, under all circumstances,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the importance of a corrupt free society to economic growth could not be overemphasised and to that effect his Government had a zero tolerance on corruption.
He emphasised the need for the country and business to integrate with the region as well as strive to adopt new technologies.
“Our country should be integrated into the main streams of global trade,” he said. “In accord with the tenets of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy which gives importance to technological and economic transformation of the region through industrialisation, modernisation, skills development, science and technology, financial strengthening and deeper regional integration, it is imperative, therefore, to reposition Zimbabwe to effectively contribute to both the regional and global economy.
“I, therefore, exhort business, industry and commerce to design and position their strategies with regional and continental integration in mind.”
President Mnangagwa said integration will in turn result in business growth by aligning the financial sector to the needs of the productive sector, adoption of new technologies and development of the knowledge based industries as well as promoting activities that could be undertaken by SMEs.
“For the realisation of the above, my Government is committed to ensure that our policies, regulations and actions do not impede business through unnecessary bureaucracy, red tape, bottlenecks delays and high costs,” he said.
The 5th CEO Africa Roundtable Conference is a two-day event themed “Zimbabwe is Open for business: Agenda 2040”.
Other key participants at the event include former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Minister Dr Mike Bimha.