Global business leaders, policy makers and multilateral funding institutions were yet again lining up to secure appointments with President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the ongoing Africa CEO Forum in Abijan Cote d’Ivoire.
Food, home and personal care products producer Unilever chief executive Mr Paul Polman met with President Mnangagwa and pledged his company’s commitment to expand operations in the country.
Emerging from the meeting the Unilever boss said his company has a long history in Zimbabwe and they never left.
He said discussions with President Mnangagwa focused on the direction the country is taking which is positive judging from how a lot of people on the global stage are interested in making the country successful again.
“The key is that we bring investments back into the Zimbabwe and start to believe in the country again and see that it is competitive also to increasingly welcome not only the economy in Zimbabwe itself but also for exports as well. The President is very optimistic obviously looking forward to elections in July. I think it is after elections where we can see accelerated pace of development in the country,” noted Mr Polman.
African Development Bank (AfDB) president Dr Akinwumi Adesina also held a bilateral meeting with President Mnangagwa and he applauded the Zimbabwe leader for his commitment to political reforms and efforts to ensure the country remains stable.
Dr Adesina said President Mnangagwa’s speech during the opening session of the Africa CEO Forum left many people more confident that Zimbabwe is on the right track both in terms of micro economic policies and the environment being put in place to ensure credible elections.
He also mentioned that a team from AfDB was in Zimbabwe a week ago to discuss debt clearance issues with the responsible authorities.
President Mnangagwa also held another bilateral engagement with the Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs in France Mr Jean Baptiste Lemoyne who said deliberations held with Finance and Economic Development Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa when he was sent to France as a special envoy of President Mnangagwa gave them insights into reforms that the new government want for Zimbabwe, and the French government is now advocating within the European Union for the lifting of some sanctions.
He said two technical commissions from France Agence and France Development where in Zimbabwe and the general secretary of Department for International Development (DFID) will also be coming to Zimbabwe this year.
Mr Lemoyne further added that the government of France is in constant contact with the Minister Chinamasa and the President’s team is in order to advocate to IMF, World Bank and AfDB for measures to help Zimbabwe.
He also applauded President Mnangagwa’s speech which he said shows that he wants to improve the livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa also granted an hour long television interview to a media group called Jeune Afrique which publishes Jeune Afrique and the Africa Report.
The wide ranging interview touched on various aspects including socio-economic and political matters.