Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
Government has called for potential investors in areas of cooperation within the framework of investment in public transport solutions and infrastructure, through concessionary agreements and joint ventures, technological and technical transfers, experience sharing and capacity building.
The call is in line with the “Zimbabwe is open for Business” mantra which was recently called by President Mnangagwa.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona and government officials are currently attending the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Transport Congress and Exhibition jointly organised and hosted by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority.
The event is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai between February 6 and 8, 2022.
Minister Mhona this morning addressed delegates at the congress where he took the opportunity to market the country as a safe investment destination in line with the mantra that Zimbabwe is open for Business.
“Ladies and Gentlemen; I have been asked to speak on the topic: Public Transport and Transport Infrastructure Developments in Zimbabwe: Opportunities for Cooperation with MENA” This topic is apt at a time when our leader, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Dr. E.D Mnangagwa has declared on several platforms at home and abroad, that “Zimbabwe is open for Business.”
“In November 2017, when the new Dispensation was ushered in, Zimbabwe launched Vision 2030 to chart its new development trajectory. The Vision reflects the collective aspirations and determination of the people of Zimbabwe to achieve a Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Society by 2030. This vision is leveraged by the following priorities among others: Building and International Engagement and Re-engagement; Digital Economy and Infrastructure and Utilities,” he said.
He said he finds these priorities resonating well with the UITP/MENA Transport Congress’s 2022 theme of “Building the future of mobility” and the four identified game changers in public transport that is: Autonomy, connectivity, shared and electric mobility.
Minister Mhona said in Zimbabwe’s public transport and transport infrastructure, especially in the wake of the disruptive pandemic and market developments, new frontiers of transformative public transport developments have arisen in the following areas: Road transport infrastructural development; Mass urban transport systems, and Bulk freight and passenger railway transport solutions, including distributive centres within the framework of inland terminals to integrate the marine systems in neighbouring SADC coastal nations and our dry inland continental networks.
Other areas are transported network inter-modalities to integrate road, railway and aviation transport systems, E-tolling and traffic management systems, within the framework of digitalisation, innovative and sustainable solutions towards enhanced mobility and mitigation of passage challenges; and smart ticketing, dynamic on-demand services such as smart public transport apps for enhanced safety, effective utilisation and reduced public transport pollution.
“The above sectors present a platform for Zimbabwe to cooperate with the MENA region, its Member States and partners such as the International Association of Public Transport and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority.
“Potential areas of cooperation flourish within the framework of investment in public transport solutions and infrastructure, through concessionary agreements and joint ventures, technological and technical transfers, experience sharing and capacity building. Going forward, we wish Zimbabwe to be enlisted as an active member of the International Association of Public Transport,” he said.
He said for the few days the Zimbabwe delegation will be in Dubai for this Congress and will be ready to interface with MENA and its partners for sustainable and enduring cooperation in the future.