President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the current crop of political leaders in Africa now need to shift focus from political nationalism to economic nationalism and the integration of economies in order to develop their respective countries.

President Mnangagwa and his Ivorian counterpart President Alassane Ouattara held bilateral talks at the Presidential Palace today.

The closed door meeting took close to an hour.

President Mnangagwa said he hesitated to accept the invitation to attend the Africa CEO Forum but it has turned out to be a very valuable learning curve which has afforded the Zimbabwean delegation to interact with leaders from business, industry and commerce.

African countries owe their independence to the wave of political nationalism advanced by Africa’s founding fathers but now focus should shift to economic nationalism.

Ivorian president Mr Ouattara who gave his address in French thanked President Mnangagwa for accepting the invitation and the enthusiasm that he is showing to transform the lives of Zimbabweans in particular and Africans in general.

He also commended the Zimbabwean leader for according the former president Mugabe the honour that he deserves as a founding father.

The world is watching with a keen interest developments in Zimbabwe as the country prepares for elections slated for July this year, and the political reforms being implemented by President Mnangagwa’s administration are commendable said Mr Ouattara.

President Mnangagwa was accompanied by Finance and Economic Development Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Retired Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, Special Advisor to the President Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Senegal Trudy Stevenson, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba and some senior government officials.

The Ivorian president also had members of his government in attendance.

President Mnangagwa is also scheduled to participate in a presidential panel which will mark the closing of the forum.

The panel to be held under the title, “When Leaders Make History” will have President Mnangagwa and former president of Nigeria Mr Olusegun Obasanjo.

The President will also hold an interactive meeting with members of the Zimbabwean diaspora living in Cote d’Ivoire.