Zimbabwe’s path to prosperity

Source: Zimbabwe’s path to prosperity | Sunday News (local news)

Fungi Kwaramba in Bulawayo 

Bold decisions that have been introduced by the Second Republic in key sectors of agriculture and mining, followed by the introduction of the minerals-backed ZiG currency will usher the country into a new chapter of prosperity, Kenyan President William Ruto said yesterday.

Observing the tumultuous journey that Zimbabweans have traversed under baneful and illegal Western-imposed economic sanctions, President Ruto, who officially opened the 64th addition of this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), said since he stepped into Zimbabwe he noted “an unmistakable energy of a country going places”.

“One thing that has been difficult to ignore from the moment we stepped on Zimbabwean soil is the unmistakable energy of a country going places, a people facing forward and a nation entering a new chapter in its development history. Upon observation and reflection, I have a good idea about the source of this infectious air of optimistic expectation that fills up every space in this great country,” said President Ruto who was accompanied by his wife Rachel.

He added that President Mnangagwa, who has rolled out multiple infrastructure development programmes — taking place in every part of the country — is the source of the encompassing air of hope.

“We all know that Zimbabwe has waged its share of struggles, faced its share of challenges and undergone a great deal of setbacks and pressures. It has been inspiring to witness the resilience and fortitude of the Zimbabwean nation and the people, who, though not the authors of their country’s tribulations, refused to be victims of it, and did not give up, slow down or lament in despair. Instead, they endured and forged on, with the confident patience of a people who have prevailed against formidable adversaries and won daunting battles time and again.  

“Under your leadership, Mr President, it is evident that this indomitable spirit has received a shot in the arm. This explains the positive changes that are taking place in many parts of the country and demonstrates Zimbabwe’s readiness to transform its abundant potential into opportunities for all sectors of its economy to make their contributions towards poverty reduction, employment creation, wealth generation and reduction of inequality, thereby ushering in economic development and inclusive prosperity,” he said.

President Mnangagwa, First Lady Auxillia, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, and Ministers from the two sister Republics were in attendance at the official opening of the ZITF, which was held under the theme “Entrepreneurship, the catalyst for Industrialisation and Trade”.

President Ruto noted the signposts of the country’s road to prosperity, as the revival of the agriculture sector, accelerated infrastructure development, booming mining and monetary reforms.

President Mnangagwa and First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa bid farewell to their Kenyan counterparts President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel Ruto at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo yesterday. Picture: Presidential Photographer Tawanda Mudimu

“As a result of your Government’s policy of agricultural revitalisation, by which it invests in the provision of access to inputs, technology and markets, together with its strategy of supporting farmers to enhance agricultural productivity and achieve food security, the seeds of transformation have been sown in Zimbabwe’s farmlands. Its first fruit will be a major uplift in livelihoods across the country, leading to rural wealth and employment creation. Afterwards, the maturing of various agro-industrial value chains will attract investments into expansion in manufacturing and growth in exports, creating even more jobs and wealth,” he said.

As such, even though Zimbabwe is experiencing one of its worst droughts, investment in the critical sector has provided a soft landing for Zimbabweans, many of whom are receiving succour in the form of food aid from the central Government.

“The restoration of agriculture as the cornerstone of economic growth, and of Zimbabwe as a famous breadbasket is at hand.”

He said Zimbabwe has always shown its willingness and commitment towards regional integration and trade, through membership of such bodies as the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.

“The third intervention which confirms Zimbabwe’s commitment to economic recovery and transformation is its government’s decision to introduce a new currency, the ZIG, which is backed by gold and other asset reserves. This radical revitalisation of Zimbabwe’s monetary policy will contribute greatly to the country’s economic resurgence,” he said.

The Kenyan President said Zimbabwe’s vast and diverse natural resources represent tremendous wealth that can be tapped into to anchor the country’s currency.

“There is no doubt that these reserves represent tremendous wealth, and it is appropriate that they should be deployed to back the national currency. More critically, technology enhanced by innovation will certainly deliver far greater value for Zimbabwe’s economy from these natural resources.

“Taken together, these bold decisions by the Government of Zimbabwe constitute a bold and radical economic recovery, revitalisation and reform agenda based on a coherent, ambitious vision to steer the nation to prosperity and sustainability. 

“On the basis of these facts, I am strongly persuaded that Zimbabwe’s commitment to transforming its immense potential into sustainable abundance is robust and driven by irrevocable intentionality. I am also convinced that this intentionality is closely connected with the vision and theme of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair,” President Ruto said.

In its journey towards Vision 2030, to become an upper-middle-class economy Zimbabwe, under President Mnangagwa, has embraced science and technology as the mediums to leapfrog the country’s development.