PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will next week join other leaders from highly developed nations in the world at the World Economic Forum’s prestigious 48th Annual Meeting in Davos -Klosters, Switzerland at a time of positive vibes at home and abroad about the direction Zimbabwe is taking.
Indeed, as we reported yesterday, the invitation to Davos — the first such since independence in 1980 — is recognition that Zimbabwe has the potential to join the big boys club on the global scene. For some time, Zimbabwe has been missing from such high profile gatherings where world leaders deliberated on fundamental issues affecting economic growth as well as shared experiences on critical matters such as climate change.
The meeting pencilled for January 23 to 26, brings together a record number of heads of state, government and international organisations alongside leaders from business, civil society, academia, the arts and media, who yearn to see the world moving forward. This gathering thus offers President Mnangagwa and his delegation the perfect platform to announce to global movers and shakers that Zimbabwe is open for business.
This has been a constant theme of President Mnangagwa’s speeches since his inauguration on November 24 last year. And he has been walking the talk as his administration has adopted policies geared at improving the ease of doing business and removing the investment risk tag that has encumbered Zimbabwe since the fallout with Western nations at the turn of the millennium.
The President has advocated financial discipline including cuts on foreign travel by senior officials in Government and State enterprises, reduction in spending on vehicles and staff rationalisation among others. The new dispensation has also declared zero tolerance on corruption and many public officials have been arrested and appeared in court facing graft charges.
Some are on the run.
Government has also addressed policy concerns and the ease of doing business that has seen some positives that include reduction of the number of days to register a company from 90 to just five days. Concerns around the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act have since been attended to with the 51-49 threshold now applying only to diamonds and platinum.
These, among other changes, testify to Government’s readiness to promote domestic and foreign investment. It is our hope that the United States and its European allies who imposed ruinous economic sanctions on Zimbabwe realise this is the time to remove the strictures to allow Zimbabwe to flourish in line with the WEF motto that espouses commitment to improving the state of the world.