Golden Sibanda in DUBAI, UAE
VICE President Constantino Chiwenga will have little time to spare during his brief stay in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), due to a packed programme of events running from today until Friday.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka and Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza are part of the VP’s high-powered entourage.
Top among VP Chiwenga’s main engagements is participation in the Global Business Forum Africa (GBFA), to be held at the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai.
The GBFA, which seeks to unpack opportunities in and challenges to investing in Africa, will run on the sidelines of the Expo 2020 Dubai, where Zimbabwe is among the 192 countries exhibiting.
Over 25 million visitors, including investors, multinational firms, Government and business leaders, are among visitors from across the world.
Expo Dubai 2020 runs from this month until March 31 next year.
VP Chiwenga touched down at the Dubai International Airport yesterday and is this afternoon due to meet Zimbabweans living in the Gulf region.
Permanent Secretary in the Vice President’s Office, Major-General Godfrey Chanakira (Retired) confirmed the VP’s programme.
“He will have a very busy schedule,” he said. “On Monday, 11th of October, 2021, we expect him to address our members of the Diaspora in the Gulf region at a hotel in the afternoon.
“And on Tuesday, we expect that he will have a discussion with potential investors here in Dubai who have expressed interest to invest in Zimbabwe.
“There are a number of various investors coming to the meeting, that should take the rest of his day. On Wednesday he will start by attending the GBFA, which is the first day of the conference, and on the second and last day of the GBFA, he will attend and also address the (GBFA) gathering.”
After the GBFA, VP Chiwenga is expected to tour selected pavilions at the Expo 2020 Dubai complex.
His tour of duty is expected to end on Friday when he returns home.
The VP is set to visit the pavilions for Zimbabwe, host nation UAE, China, Rwanda and logistics firm, DP World, which requested a meeting.
In between the packed events, the VP is also expected to tour the Dubai Airports Company special economic zone to share notes with his UAE counterparts on their experiences in implementing SEZs.
Zimbabwe is also working on SEZs.
Maj-Gen Chanakira said VP Chiwenga’s visit was not focused solely on the Expo 2020 Dubai and the GBFA, but consolidating, cultivating and promoting relations, trade, investment and cooperation with the rest of the region.
Zimbabwe’s Expo 2020 Dubai Commissioner-General Ambassador Mary Mubi said Harare seeks to engage and excite investors in Dubai, while telling a different and positive narrative about the new Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Mubi said Zimbabwe was exhibiting under the opportunities cluster and would take advantage of the platform to highlight to the world its innumerable opportunities for trade and investment.
“We also need to partner with others in terms of institutions,” she said. “There are institutions of innovation, institutions of higher learning that are exhibiting here.
“There are countries that are showcasing their innovations and one of the events being funded by the ICTs sector and local authorities is the ‘Smart Cities’ event.
“Zimbabwe’s local authorities are coming here in order to try and look for partnerships in the development of ‘Smart Cities’.”
Engaging the international community was key, Ambassador Mubi said, as Harare is seeking investments and partnerships for future development to achieve Vision 2030 of an upper middle income society.
She noted that it was an honour that VP Chiwenga would be attending the GBFA during the expo, as this would add impetus to what Zimbabwe was looking to achieve through participation in the exhibition in Dubai.
“Obviously, when we have a person of his stature it highlights what we are trying to do in the pavilion and the importance with which we view the engagement agenda, that we have people of that seniority within the Government who come to give added impetus to what we are doing; it’s extremely important,” said Ambassador Mubi.