President Mnangagwa yesterday invited investors from the United States and the rest of the world to partner with the Government in unlocking vast investment opportunities across economic value chains, saying his administration has made necessary economic reforms to guarantee the safety of investments.
Speaking during a high-level dialogue on enhancing Africa’s value in agricultural value chains at the US-Africa Business Summit in Gaborone, Botswana, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe has put in place a cocktail of measures to enhance the smooth flow of global capital in and out of the country.
Running under the theme, “Enhancing Africa’s value in global value chains”, the summit brought together over 1,000 participants at the continent’s largest annual gathering of US and African leaders and senior government officials, private sector executives, international investors and multilateral stakeholders.
The four-day summit, which ends tomorrow, comprises a line-up of more than 100 speakers, among them business and government leaders providing insights on emerging opportunities for US-Africa trade, investment and commercial engagement, and priority action areas for collaboration in key growth sectors of agribusiness, finance, energy, health, infrastructure, ICT and creative industries.
The high-level dialogue was oversubscribed as business people from the US and other parts of the world came to listen to President Mnangagwa and his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi.
Local award-winning female farmer, Ms Basadi Molelelekeng representing Bicolor Holdings, John Deere representative Mr Jaco Beyers, Mr Albert Momo representing Trimble, and Mr Paul Ouma representing Cross Boundary, formed part of the panel while Vannessa Adams from Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa moderated.
“We are fully aware that capital goes where it feels safe so our economic reforms have to address the issue of the ease of doing business and incentives. We must make sure we provide incentives to beat other jurisdictions in order to attract capital into Zimbabwe,” said President Mnangagwa.
“You must create a situation where you attract global capital. Global capital goes where it can go in and out without constraints and we have made those economic reforms to achieve that and become attractive.”
The President and his Niger counterpart Mohamed Bazoum (left) lead fellow leaders at the US-Africa Business Summit in Botswana yesterday.
In order to mitigate against the adverse effects of climate change, President Mnangagwa said his Government was focused on establishing more water bodies in all areas with arable land to ensure vibrant irrigation of crops throughout the year.
He said Zimbabwe was ready to offer land and water bodies to potential investors as part of incentives to attract investment.
Owing to such a model, the President said Zimbabwe has, in the past three years, been exporting blueberries across the world.
“Have you eaten blue-berries from Zimbabwe?” the President asked the moderator at the dialogue.
“Excellent! We are now supplying America, Europe and Asia with our blue-berries and it’s (the sector) growing very fast. Those who want to make money, come and make money,” said President Mnangagwa.
“We give you the land, we make sure we provide the water. Yes, the water; in the past rains would come but now we make sure we guarantee that by building dams in the country across the provinces. In every area with agricultural land, we create water bodies so that there is irrigation throughout the year.”
President Mnangagwa also shared the country’s success story around last year’s winter wheat harvest and three years of successive grain surplus.
He also told delegates about how the climate-proofed Pfumvudza/ Intwasa concept had helped ensure food security at household level.
Before the high-level dialogue, President Mnangagwa joined fellow African leaders at the official opening of the summit at the Royal Aria Convention Centre by Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Also, in attendance were Presidents Nyusi of Mozambique, Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, Namibian Vice President Nangolo Mbumba, Lesotho Prime Minister Samuel Matekane, Eswatini Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini and Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), the summit’s co-hosts, chief executive officer Florizelle Liser.
Chief executive officer of the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Mr Scott Nathan, leading a high-level US delegation at the summit, and AfreximBank President Dr Benedict Oramah also attended the official opening.
In his welcome remarks, President Masisi called on participants to utilise the summit to network and cultivate business relationships for the benefit of their countries.
He also invited delegates to the Global Expo Botswana (GEB), the country’s premier international multi-sectoral business-to-business exhibition in October that attracts exhibitors and businesspeople from across the world.
Mr Nathan said his country was committed to deepening trade with African States to promote growth in various sectors of the economy.
Dr Oramah said unlike in the past when the continent looked like a basket case, Africa today offers itself as a business proposition calling on investors to take advantage of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) to grab opportunities on the continent.
President Mnangagwa concluded his business in Botswana by having closed-door bilateral meetings with Presidents Masisi and Nyusi before heading back home.