HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa is heading to Ivory Coast for the Africa CEO Forum as he ramps up efforts to lure foreign investment.
A lot of attention will focus on Zimbabwe’s new president, who deposed long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, who was the world’s oldest leader until the military intervened in November last year.
Mnangagwa is heading to Ivory Coast’s capital Abidjan to convince potential investors that the country is now open for business.
CEOs of the largest African and international companies, political decision makers from more than 40 African countries and the most active bankers and investors on the continent will gather on March 26 and 27 in Ivory Coast, for the 6th edition of the Africa CEO Forum.
The forum is a unique platform for discussion and debate around the economic and industrial challenges facing the African continent. Organised by the Group Jeune Afrique and Rainbow Unlimited, in partnership with the African Development Bank, the forum has become the foremost international event dedicated to the development of the private sector in Africa.
Mnangagwa, together with George Weah, the newly-elected Liberia President, are the only heads of States that are expected to address the forum together with former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Mnangagwa is expected to give an overview of the strategies for Zimbabwe’s economic revival to the investor community following his ascendancy to power in November last year.
“In an unprecedented inter-presidential panel, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and Zimbabwe’s new president will discuss ways to lift the country out of its isolation and get the economy back on its feet.
“Mnangagwa’s accession to the presidency of Zimbabwe in late November 2017 marks the beginning of a new era for the country.
“After 17 years of isolation and economic sanctions, this historic transition has raised the population’s expectations, especially around economic recovery and job creation in a country suffering from widespread unemployment.
“Gearing up to face these challenges and preparing Zimbabwe to re-engage with the rest of the world, … Mnangagwa will present his country’s economic potential to the international investor and business community at the Africa CEO Forum,” the organisation said.
Mnangagwa has been selling Zimbabwe as a country now open for business, following the Mugabe’s departure.
Mugabe had led Zimbabwe in isolation, as his policies locked away potential investors, as the country also reeled under economic sanctions.
Mnangagwa has been trying to break the barriers and open the country to the international community and improve relations with other countries, as he seeks to improve the country’s image and investment opportunities.
This forum is one of the many initiatives that he will use to market Zimbabwe to the international community.
“As the world’s third-largest platinum producer and with abundant diamond reserves, significant agricultural resources, and one of the highest adult literacy rates in Africa, Zimbabwe has a lot to offer. … Mnangagwa will share his vision for Zimbabwe’s economic recovery before an audience of more than 1 200 business leaders, international investors and policy makers.
“The Africa CEO Forum’s exclusive inter-presidential panel will give … Mnangagwa the opportunity to exchange with … Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria.
“Having emerged from a long period of economic isolation, Nigeria offers a solid example on which to base discussions on strategic priorities that must be implemented to revive Zimbabwe’s economy and put an end to sanctions,” the organisation said.
Other presidents that have previously attended the Africa CEO Forum are from Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.