Davos 2022: President lifts Zimbabwean flag high

24 May, 2022 - 20:05 0 Views
Davos 2022: President lifts Zimbabwean flag high President Mnangagwa delivers his remarks during the roundtable discussion on AfCFTA which he was also co-chairing at Davos yesterday.

The Herald

Masimba Mavaza

President Mnangagwa yesterday co-chaired a breakfast meeting themed: “Friends of the African Continental Free Trade Area” at the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

The meeting was looking at how Public-Private Partnerships could help with the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Other co-chairs were Heads of State of Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda and Nigeria.

The AfCFTA is poised to be the largest trading bloc consolidating Africa’s intra trade.

President Mnangagwa arrived in Davos where he marks his third attendance to the World Economic Forum.

This comes after two years of absence due to the global Covid-19 pandemic which derailed progress of the world’s economy.

President Mnangagwa went straight into business in a trip meant to put Zimbabwe within reach of the global economic arena.

The WEF was founded in 1971 by German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, a business professor at the University of Geneva.
First named the European Management Forum, it changed its name to the WEF in 1987 and sought to broaden its vision to include providing a platform for resolving international conflicts.

The WEF is an international non-governmental and lobbying organisation based in Cologny, canton of Geneva, Switzerland.

The foundation, which is mostly funded by its 1 000 member companies – typically global enterprises with more than US$5 billion in turnover – as well as public subsidies, views its own mission as “improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”.

Schwab first brought together 450 leaders for what was then called the European Management Symposium.

Schwab was a professor at the University of Geneva when he asked business leaders from around the continent to discuss how they were competing in a global marketplace, particularly against American firms.

The European Management Forum, the group supervising the meeting, was based in the city of Chur – but Schwab chose Davos, a place otherwise known for skiing, as the site of the gathering since then Davos became the base of this global meeting which brings together politicians, business people and academicians alike.

The WEF again brings together the forces of the world at Davos, and from this forum, countries hope to bring out the best for each country for the benefit of the globe.

It is the first time the forum is meeting in springtime rather than January – when it is traditionally held – for the first time, having been postponed on multiple occasions because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its 50-year history, the WEF has never been confronted with such unprecedented global issues as it now faces in 2022, as the world recovers from a global pandemic, grapples to contain the devastating impact of the climate crisis, and navigates a geopolitical storm following the war in Ukraine.
Børge Brende, President of the WEF, said in a pre-event briefing: “Global challenges need global solutions, and we’re not seeing these global solutions and that’s where we have to push at Davos”.

This sets the tone of the forum and cuts right through the 50 years of existence.

In the breakfast meeting today, President Mnangagwa emphasised a push toward a made in Africa revolution boosting Africa’s regional value chains.

The AfCFTA is much more than a trade agreement, it is an instrument for Africa’s development. The stakeholders made commitments to drive the continent’s integration and the unity of purpose.

On the sidelines of the forum, the AfCFTA channeled ways to achieve regional value chains, thereby laying foundations for a Made in Africa Revolution.

The WEF and AfCFTA aim to help governments target sectors that can benefit from their countries’ entry into the AfCFTA and market players to better understand where they should invest.

It also offers views from industry players running exporting enterprises in some of the value chains identified, all in the service of creating a Made in Africa revolution.

Zimbabwe will not be left behind in claiming a position in the global market.

The AfCFTA is an ambitious trade pact to form the world’s largest free trade area by connecting almost 1.3 billion people across 54 African countries.

The breakfast meeting in Davos, which was chaired by President Mnangagwa sought to enforce an agreement to create a single market for goods and services in order to deepen the economic integration of Africa.

The trade area could have a combined gross domestic product of around $3.4 trillion, but achieving its full potential depends on significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures across African signatory nations.

The AfCFTA aims to reduce tariffs among members and covers policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade.
Zimbabwe stands to benefit from this year’s forum and thanks to President Mnangagwa will have a double benefit from this year’s WEF.
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