President Robert Mugabe has returned from Mauritius after attending the first ever African Economic Platform (AEP) summit, whose official business ended today (Tuesday).
Cde Mugabe touched down at the Harare International Airport aboard an Air Zimbabwe A320 airbus by an all female crew, led by Ms Chipo Matimba as the captain, Ms Thandi Dube as the first officer, Constance Masimbe and Mary Murimba as senior flight attendants.
It was the first time that an all female crew took charge of the airbus.
He was welcomed by the two vice presidents; Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa and Cde Phelekezela Mphoko, several cabinet ministers, senior government officials and service chiefs, among others.
Cde Mugabe was among several African political leaders, captains of industry and intellectuals attending the AEP summit, which ended with calls for Africa to be united, to allow free movement of people and goods across the continent, as well as the continental leadership to prioritise matters that will drive the economic transformation and integration agenda.
At the summit, President Mugabe told the delegates that it has not been easy for some countries to be in step with other countries which are more advanced mainly because the advanced states have been reluctant and are still not forthcoming to further the common good of all countries on the continent.
Speaking in a plenary session, Centum Investments Founder and Chief Executive, Dr Chris Kirubi implored the organisers of the forum to distribute President Mugabe’s speech across the continent, saying it sums up well the direction that Africa should take to succeed.
Dr Kirubi added that divisions amongst Africans have hindered efforts by some progressive Africans who are advocating for the continent to become an integrated, prosperous and peaceful, all this driven by its own citizens.
It is envisaged that the private sector’s participation will boost investment, industrialisation and intra-African trade.
Interactions between intellectuals and industry is anticipated to ensure that there is no longer going to be a mismatch between what the learning institutions are producing and the skills that industry requires.
Political leaders are expected to ensure the implementation of fiscal and macro-economic policies and creation of a conducive environment for economic transformation.
The outcomes of the AEP shall be endorsed through an African Union (AU) Summit decision.