Program loaded as ZITF roars to life
THE 62nd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) begins tomorrow with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta unable to attend the official opening as planned following the death of his country’s former president, Mwai Kibaki.
President Mnangagwa announced the death of former Kenyan President Kibaki in Epworth on Saturday during a rally celebrating the victory of Zanu PF lawmaker Cde Zalera Makari.
Kibaki died last Thursday at the age of 90 and President Kenyatta has declared a period of mourning until his burial, with flags flying at half mast.
The former Kenyan leader will be entitled to a state funeral with full military honours.
Zimbabwe’s premier trade and investment expo will be held under the theme: “Rethinking, Reimagining, Reinventing Value Chains for Economic Development”.
This year’s Fair attracted more than 500 direct exhibitors, of which 71 are first-timers.
Fourteen countries are expected to exhibit and these are; Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Belarus, Great Britain, Indonesia and Japan.
Yesterday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr. Nick Mangwana, confirmed that President Kenyatta would no longer come for the official opening of the ZITF on Friday.
“President @edmnangagwa has announced that President Kenyatta will no longer come for ZITF as there is national mourning in Kenya over the passing of former President Mwai Kibaki,” he posted on his official Twitter account.
“President Kibaki was the 3rd President of Kenya and an ally of the late President Jomo Kenyatta.
However, momentum for the ZITF is building and Bulawayo is a hive of activity as exhibitors and trade commissioners flock to the city.
Last week, several exhibitors were already working on their pavilions in the hope of further commercial gains.
The increase in visitor traffic is good news for Bulawayo as a whole.
“Bulawayo will be very busy this week and it’s good for local businesses who are always looking forward to
at ZITF as Christmas time for their operations. Retailers, hospitality sector and others are doing good business during this period,” said Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Raj Modi, who is also a local businessman and Bulawayo South legislator.
ZITF organizers have planned a busy schedule for the week with Vice President Dr. Constantino Chiwenga, who is expected to officially open the International Business Conference (IBC) on Wednesday.
He will also deliver a keynote address at the inaugural Connect Africa Symposium the following day.
The IBC will be held under the ZITF theme: “Rethinking, Reimagining, Reinventing Value Chains for Economic Development”.
According to ZITF, there will be sessions in three panels, the first being anchored on the structural transformation of value chains.
These will highlight perspectives from business and industry leaders and will be co-chaired by the President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries (CZI), Mr. Kurai Matsheza, and the Chairman of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Dr. Tinashe Manzungu.
ZITF Chief Executive Dr. Nicholas Ndebele said that due to the overwhelming response and space limitations in the conference venue, there will be a restriction on the number of attendees on a first-come basis. first served.
The second panel will seek to address inclusive value chain development through finance and investment. This segment will be led by Executive Vice President of Afreximbank, Mr. Denys Denya, Managing Director of BancABC Zimbabwe, Dr. Lance Mambondiani who will represent the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, Chairman of IDC, Mr. Winstone Makamure , Zida’s Acting Managing Director, Ms. Duduzile Shinya and AfDB Country Officer, Ms. Moono Mupotola.
The third panel will focus on reimagining value chain opportunities and challenges and will be chaired by ZEPARU Executive Director, Dr. Gibson Chigumira.
Given the susceptibility of Covid-19, the Department of Health and Childcare has announced that it will outline and offer services such as PCR and antigen testing, card activation vaccination, alcohol-related disorders and drug testing, among others.