Zim unstoppable, says President

Wallace Ruzvidzo-Herald Reporter

Despite the albatross of illegal, unjust, and baneful economic sanctions, Zimbabwe will continue marching on the path towards upper-middle-class economic status by 2030 with every Zimbabwean having a role to play in making that vision a reality, the President has said.

Addressing the Second ED Mnangagwa Business Summit in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe would continue to register success and prosperity even as the United States and its allies maintain the debilitating economic sanctions.

He said the Second Republic would continue making interventions towards bolstering the plinths it has established to ensure business thrives, concomitantly ensuring economic growth is inclusive and transformative.

“Despite the challenges that we are facing, due to the continued illegal and heinous sanctions from the United States of America, we must push the frontiers of our country’s success and prosperity. This task and burden rests upon us as Zimbabweans.

“We have been resilient for the last 23 years under sanctions, and no amount of propaganda, under whatever guise, will fool us. All forms of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe must be immediately and unconditionally removed. These sanctions are illegal, unjustified, and cruel to all the people of Zimbabwe.

“Achieving sustainable economic growth and transformation is indeed a journey that requires vision, determination and collective action from both the private and public sectors. To this end, the Second Republic will continue to make interventions towards bolstering the foundations we have set for business to thrive while ensuring that economic growth is inclusive and transformative,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said it was mind-boggling that the sanctions were in place when Zimbabwe had not offended any nation.

He said had it not been for the illegal embargo, Zimbabwe would be developing at a much larger scale and faster pace.

“Our country has not offended any nation, ‘Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy of none’. Our people, including the business sector, and our economy deserve to be given a chance to grow and develop, just like any other within the comity of nations,” President Mnangagwa said.

In the face of adversity, he said, Zimbabwe will never falter and its people would remain united, peace-loving and hard working.

The President urged the general citizenry regardless of background or circumstance to be active participants in the country’s economic progress.

“We have come this far under sanctions, we have realised unprecedented success milestones and registered indisputable GDP growth; we shall keep marching forward. We are a resilient people and the descendants of the Great Munhumutapa. Against all odds, we are realising prosperity and a higher quality of life for our people.

“At the heart of our country’s economic transformation agenda is the principle of leaving no one and no place behind. Hence, every Zimbabwean, regardless of background or circumstance, should participate in and benefit from the country’s economic progress.

“This is an essential building block for a resilient and dynamic economy that can withstand shocks and thrive in an ever-changing global landscape,” he said.

Added to that, President Mnangagwa said nothing would deter the country’s current development trajectory as his administration would continue championing private-sector-led economic development as envisaged in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

“Zimbabwe’s ongoing economic transformation journey requires all hands on deck, both in the public and private sectors, as we scale up collaboration and innovation to achieve our country’s Vision 2030”.

President Mnangagwa said dialogue between the public and private sectors was key and this had seen increased production and productivity levels across all sectors.

“My Government is fulfilling the promises and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe and you as business, must play your part. The policies that we have continually developed together have been robust and responsive resulting in increased production and productivity across all economic sectors.

“This is the power of partnerships, synergies and greater unity of purpose. The implementation of more measures and strategies to promote industrialisation, in particular the value addition and beneficiation of our natural and local resources, should now be our key focus.

“This must stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in our productive sectors, while creating employment opportunities, wealth and broad-based empowerment,” he said.

The President went on to outline some of the major developments in the country including the soon-to-be-commissioned Dinson Steel Plant in Manhize and the discovery of oil and gas in Muzarabani.

“The Dinson Steel Plant under construction in Manhize, which I will be commissioning later this month, will have positive and multi-pronged impacts on our economy. The discovery of gas and oil in Muzarabani will undoubtedly move us from a net importer of petro-chemicals, create new jobs and embed new skills for our young people. While this is a new area, Government will ensure that maximum benefits accrue to the general citizenry.

“Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector has witnessed an increase in capacity utilisation, riding on the responsive policies of Government and the prevailing conducive operating environment. Going into the future, we must all do our part to unlock our country’s full potential towards greater GDP growth, economic competitiveness and the increase in exports of our local brands, goods and services,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President also urged the private sector to play its part in assisting vulnerable communities during the drought period caused by climate change.

“Climate change is real and our country is experiencing its negative impact with an expected slowing down of economic growth in 2024 as a result of the El-Nino-induced drought. I challenge the private sector to develop adaptive mechanisms that augment my Administration’s policy measures aimed at insulating the economy against the attendant shocks”, he said.

Zimbabwe’s diplomatic offensive under the engagement and re-engagement drive, said the President, was yielding results and forging new growth opportunities.

“The engagement and re-engagement Policy of the Second Republic is bearing fruit and creating new opportunities for co-operation, partnerships, growth and development, with positive spill-overs impacting all sectors of the economy. Business is urged to maximize on this policy thrust.

“Let us harness the collective creativity and energy of all Zimbabweans, both at home and in the Diaspora, from the boardroom to the classroom and from the farm to the factory, towards building a future of prosperity, opportunity and dignity for all. We must rise to the challenge of modernising and industrialising our beloved motherland Zimbabwe, with courage, determination, and optimism,” he said.

Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni commended the business community for their efforts in growing Zimbabwe’s economy.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Dr Denford Mutashu thanked the Second Republic for ensuring a conducive business environment.

President Mnangagwa’s Investment Advisor, Dr Paul Tungwarara, who is also Prevail International Group chairman, said the dialogue between Government and business also inspires investors to come to Zimbabwe and grab the low-hanging fruits afforded by the Second Republic.

The summit was attended by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Ministers, business leaders and other Government officials.

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