Ruto to open ZITF…Cabinet releases dates for 2024 Trade Fair

Nqobile Tshili, nqobile.tshili@chronicle.co.zw 

KENYAN President Dr William Ruto will officially open the 64th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair next month with 25 international exhibitors from 21 countries confirming their participation in the country’s biggest trade showcase.

This year’s ZITF, under the theme: “Innovation: The Catalyst for Industrialisation and Trade,” will run from April 23-27 at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre with the trade showcase being opened to the public on April 26 and 27. Addressing a post Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere said preparations for the trade showcase were on course. 

He said Industry and Commerce Minister, Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu briefed the Cabinet on the country’s readiness to host ZITF and the ongoing infrastructure refurbishment expected to be completed by April 20. 

 “The fair will be officially opened by the President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Dr. William Ruto. A total of 466 direct exhibitors had registered to participate as at March 21, 2024, with 65 exhibiting for the first time,” said Dr Muswere.

At least 96 percent or 47 425 square metres out of the net space available or 49 499 square metres have been taken up. 

Zimbabwe International Trade Fair

“Twenty-five international exhibitors from 21 countries, namely: Belarus; the People’s Republic of China; the European Union; France; Germany; Italy; Iran; Japan; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Netherlands; Nigeria; Romania; South Africa; South Korea; Sweden; the United Kingdom; the United States of America and Zambia have confirmed attendance. The international exhibits will cut across several sectors,” said Dr Muswere.

He said several high-profile meetings including the Diplomats Forum and Africa Connect Symposium will be held on the sidelines of the ZITF.

The main activities at the 2024 ZITF will comprise the ZITF Welcome Cocktail; the ZITF International Business Conference on 24 April, which will be officially opened by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga; the ZITF Charity Golf Challenge, ZITF Diplomats Forum, Connect Africa Symposium and the Tourism Night, which will be held on April 25.

The ZITF Diplomats Forum will be held under the theme “Fostering Economic Partnerships through Entrepreneurship” while the theme for the Connect Africa Symposium will be “Entrepreneurial Africa: Routes to Sustainable Progress”. 

The Symposium will be officially opened by Vice President Kembo Mohadi while the official opening ceremony and the ZNCC Business Luncheon will be on April 26.

Dr Muswere said on the sidelines of the trade showcase, there will be a two-day ZITF Innovators Forum for young innovators and entrepreneurs in Africa, as well as a five-day Scholastic Expo.

“The five-day ZITF Scholastica Expo 2024 event will focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership for students in the country. As part of capacity building, the ZITF Company will offer value-added services to both exhibitors and visitors as well as exhibition training to exhibitors for the best possible return on investment,” he said.

Dr Constantino Chiwenga

Meanwhile, Dr Muswere said significant preparations have been made ahead of the 44th Independence Day celebrations and the Children’s Party including fixing roads that lead to the venue.

Government adopted a rotational hosting of Independence Day with Murambina in Manicaland playing host to this year’s Uhuru celebrations.

Dr Muswere said public institutions as well as youth and women-led organisations are expected to use the Independence Day celebrations to exhibit their products. 

“A business exhibition programme for all local authorities, youths, women, ministries, departments and agencies, small businesses, local and from outside the province, will be running along the 2024 Independence anniversary celebrations. The platform will accord the exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their achievements in business, covering the period since the attainment of independence in 1980,” he said.

The minister said the country has also made significant inroads towards hosting the 44th Sadc Heads of State Summit on August 17 at the New Parliament Building in the New City at Mt. Hampden.

The country will host a Sadc Industrialisation Week before the summit.

Dr Muswere said VP Chiwenga is coordinating the hosting of the Summit with an inter-ministerial committee having been established to guarantee a seamless hosting of the event.

He said access roads are being rehabilitated while Government has put in place measures to provide accommodation for all guests and participants.

 Dr Muswere said Government through the relevant ministry coordinated the provision of infrastructure to meet Sadc information communication technology requirements and facilitate a seamless flow of meetings and sessions during the Summit.

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