Janet Munyaka in Davos, Switzerland
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has presented the country with an opportunity to present itself to the world.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the majority of top notch investors that he has interacted with in Davos have shown genuine interest to come and invest, while a few are indicating that they will wait until elections are held.
In an interview with local journalists on the sidelines of the WEF in Davos, President Mnangagwa says he has received so many requests from business leaders that he might not even be able to fulfill their requests to meet and discuss at length opportunities available in Zimbabwe. The President said some of the investors are willing to come right away while some have indicated that they will wait for elections.
“I have so far met a lot of business leaders across the world. I might not be able to fulfill all the requests to meet me. Some have promised that they will send representatives to Zimbabwe. There are those who are saying they will wait for elections. They have been asking about the opportunities and I have given them the menu available and they are eager to come and participate,” said President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa’s appearance at the forum saw him interacting with a lot of delegates ranging from other political leaders and business tycoons who all gave thumbs up to the thrust and new path being taken by the government politically and economically.
“I met people I have never met before like Al Gore (Former Vice President of the United States), prime ministers from the European region, business, banks. Various institutions lined up in their huge numbers to say they are happy with what happened in Zimbabwe and the thrust and new order that we are articulating across the board,” Cde Mnangagwa said.
President Mnangagwa said the hesitation by some investors to wait until elections is understandable considering past events in the country.
He said: “It is understandable; some people are still hesitant on how to embrace the new trajectory.”
The President says employment creation and attracting foreign direct investment are top on the agenda of government’s priority list.
“I am happy that Zimbabweans are united, they continue to support government, they have high expectations of seeing change and I wouldn’t want to fail them. We must make sure we create jobs and to do that we must make sure we have FDIs coming in. So far we have exceeded the FDI that we used to get in a year but we got it in 50 days. The volume of commitment is beyond what we used to get in a year and we are hoping to catch up with countries like Zambia, Mozambique and even outpace them,” the President said.
Zimbabwe’s economic turnaround efforts will be anchored on four pillars – value chain of agriculture, mining sector, infrastructure development and energy.
President Mnangagwa highlighted that the country has energy deficit and Zimbabwe is looking for companies to come and generate energy for domestic consumption and for export in the region, an area that a number of French companies have expressed interest in.