President Emmerson Mnangagwa chats to Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga at the RGMI Airport before his departure for China

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has left for Beijing, China where he has been invited by his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping to attend the 7th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit.

The two heads of state are also scheduled to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the summit.

President Mnangagwa who is accompanied by the First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, government ministers and Zanu PF Politburo members left Harare late this afternoon.

The world’s second leading economic powerhouse China is hosting the FOCAC Summit where President Xi is expected to announce new steps in China-Africa ties.

Cooperation between the Asian country and African countries will focus on industrial development, infrastructure, trade and investment, human resources development, science education, culture, health, environmental protection as well as peace and security.

The forum on China-Africa cooperation was established in 2000 as a multilateral platform for exchange and cooperation between the Asian giant and African countries.

The forum brings together 53 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, the African Union Commission and China to make 55 members and Zimbabwe belongs to the grouping.

Zimbabwe and China have excellent bilateral relations anchored in a shared history and friendship that dates back to the days of the liberation struggle and President Mnangagwa’s second visit to China since his ascendency in November last year is expected to inject new vitality and renew the call for a shared future with the Asian country.

During his visit to China in April this year, President Mnangagwa secured a number of deals among them an energy deal. 

According to the government, Zimbabwe will require about 11 000 megawatts of electricity to achieve its vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2030 and hence the huge demand for power presents vast opportunities for China to further invest in Zimbabwe’s energy sector.  

Besides energy, Zimbabwe and China are cooperating in various other sectors.

The First Lady of China Professor Peng Liyuan will host a conference for first ladies on AIDS prevention and control and Amai Mnangagwa has been invited to attend the meeting. 

President Mnangagwa and his wife were seen off at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Vice President Retired General Dr Constantino Chiwenga,Environment, Water and Climate Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Harare Metropolitan Province Minister of State Miriam Chikukwa, government ministers, senior government officials and service chiefs among others.  

Meanwhile, Vice President Chiwenga is the Acting President.