ZITF Business conference roars to life

Caitlin Kamba

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga officially opened the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Business Conference in Bulawayo under the theme ‘Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent supply value chains development.’

The event was attended by Regional and International Captains of Industry as well as members of the Diplomatic Community including United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson, European Union (EU) Head of Delegation Timo Olkkonen and Angolan Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Pedro Hendrick Vaal Neto.

VP Chiwenga remarked that the 12th edition of Business Conference’s theme resonated with President Emmerson Mnangwagwa’s clarion call to resuscitate the country’s economy, adding that the conference also marked the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“Let us domesticate supply value chains in accordance with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).  Regionally this is an opportunity for businesses and other sectors to come together and in this instance to fight collectively the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war and the COVID 19 disruptions,” said VP Chiwenga.

He indicated that Zimbabwe and Mozambique were mooting the launch of one stop border posts in a bid to implement AfCFTA, but urged manufacturers to produce quality products that are regionally and internationally competitive.

ZITF Board Chairperson, Busisa Moyo, exclaimed that the role of ZITF had since moved from being an Exhibition Centre, to a hub for business synergies before adding that the 2022 Business Conference’s thrust was to find ways to remove impediments that hinder supply value chains.

Moyo added that “this year’s conference is specially designed to create solutions, hence the theme Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent supply value chains development.”

Meanwhile, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, Kenneth Macheza told the conference that the missing links in the supply value chain development were small businesses in the manufacturing sector. He implored the captains of industry that “we need to unhinge from an importing economy to manufacturing, as this will enhance value chains.”

Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Sekai Nzenza weighed in reiterating that Government is pushing to see more locally produced goods in shop shelves and urged retailers to desist from the habit of importing even basic commodities.