Christopher Makaza Correspondent
Zimbabwean citizens across various professions and sectors have of late been selected for key regional and international appointments, keeping the country in the international limelight.
Despite efforts by the country’s detractors to tarnish its image, Zimbabwe has seen an increasing number of its citizens landing critical positions beyond its frontiers. This year alone, Zimbabwe has seen several of its citizens being appointed for regional assignments.
The Southern African country has also attracted international institutions which are set to establish regional headquarters in the country.
The latest appointment is that of the Zimbabwe’s Ecobank managing director, Moses Kurenjekwa to the position of Ecobank Group SADC cluster head. Kurenjekwa will oversee the overall Ecobank business within the SADC Cluster, covering Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Kurenjekwa joined Ecobank Zimbabwe Limited in 2011, as the head of corporate and investment banking, a position he held upon Ecobank’s entry into Zimbabwe.
Within five years, he grew the business from infancy into one of the best performing corporate and investment banking units in the Ecobank Group.
One of Zimbabwe’s foremost, inspirational, organic, and innovative scientific researchers, Professor Collen Masimirembwa was last month awarded the prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Professor Callistus Juma Fellowship Programme for scientists permanently located at an African research organisation.
Professor Masimirembwa won the US$1 million prestigious award after demonstrating expertise on how to carry out transformative science on the ground, experience, networks and skills to anchor health and development in communities, design and co-design projects with local and global partners, and mobilise key institutions in their countries.
The US $1 million fellowship will enable Professor Masimirembwa to work over a five-year period to create centres of excellence in translational genomic medicine in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Professor Masimirembwa is currently the president and CEO of the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AIBST), which is based at Wilkins Hospital in Harare.
Another Zimbabwean, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mr George Tongesayi Guvamatanga was with effect from 1 October appointed non- executive director of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank Group (TDB).
The appointment, which runs for an initial period of three years, covers Botswana, Eritrea, Mauritius, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Mr Guvamatanga is an experienced banker and well-rounded professional with a demonstrated history of working at the highest level in the financial services industry.
Prior to his appointment as Permanent Secretary in September 2018, Mr Guvamatanga worked for Barclays Bank for 28 years, nine of which as the bank’s managing director.
Last month, Zimbabwe’s Chido Mpemba was appointed Youth Envoy to the African Union Commission, taking over the reins from Tunisia’s Aya Chebbi whose term lapsed during the same month.
Mpemba became the first southern African person to hold the most influential youth post on the continent after passing through rigorous vetting amongst hundreds of other African youths who were vying for the position.
Commenting on Mpemba`s appointment, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat revealed that he was confident that Mpemba’s vast knowledge on issues affecting young people would assist in crafting sound programmes and policies for the betterment of the region.
Another Zimbabwean, Dr Cosmas Zavazava, is the chief projects and knowledge management department responsible for projects, CT data and statistics at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). He is currently being tipped to land the prestigious position of director Telecommunications Development Bureau at ITU.
Zimbabwe also made history in June this year when it became the first SADC country to clinch the position of secretary general for the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU). Zimpost Postmaster-General Mr Sifundo Chief Moyo landed the post during the 10th ordinary session of PAPU held in Victoria Falls in June. No Southern African country had ever assumed PAPU’s top post since its formation in 1980.
The appointments of Zimbabweans on these key roles put the country on the world map and broaden the individual’s responsibilities and allow them to make contributions to the socio-economic development of member states.
Zimbabwe was last month elected vice chair of the WorldKimberly Process, which ensures that all global diamond mining and sales are done legally and following laid down standards. The vote which was done in Moscow, Russia, was a further endorsement of the Second Republic`s global appeal as a properly governed nation.
In another huge show of confidence in Zimbabwe, the African Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank) is set to construct a US$100 million regional office and trade centre in the country on a piece of land in Harare, which was officially handed to the institution by President Mnangagwa last Friday.
The bank intends to construct its offices on a 12 000 square metre plot of land in the Newlands area. The 30 000 square metre iconic mixed-use business complex will consist of corporate offices, conference and exhibition centre, innovation and incubation hub, knowledge centre and a 120 key four star hotel providing a one-stop-shop for trade facilitation and information services and trade finance.
Despite being one of Zimbabwe`s biggest detractor, the US built a US$292 million embassy compound in Harare, a structure believed to be one of its largest embassies in Africa and beyond, a symbol of confidence and commitment to the country.
The appointment of Zimbabweans on key international positions is an indication that the world has confidence in the country’s leadership, policies and the country’s citizens who are known world over as hard working people.
The appointments are also a testimony that the global village is embracing Zimbabweans as people who can positively contribute in various sectors to the satisfaction of the international community.