By Derick Tsimba
Zimbabwe has been in attendance of this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) for Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. The WEF is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. It serves to provide a platform for the engagement of political, business and social leaders in a bid to shape the global and regional developmental agendas.
At the WEF where the country was represented by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Second Republic in Zimbabwe was acknowledged for successfully making re-engagement efforts with the international community to revamp its economy. The WEF was pleased specifically with the progress the country had made on its economic reform agenda.
The country once participated at the WEF for the first time in 2018 owing to the Second Republic’s efforts to re-engage the international community. Following the success of the country’s historic first time participation at the World Economic Forum last year and this year, President Mnangagwa was invited to attend the WEF next year to update investors on the country’s investment successes.
At this year’s forum in South Africa, WEF Executive Chairman, Klaus Martin Schwab, was stirred by President Mnangagwa during a courtesy call ahead of the official opening of the World Economic Forum on Africa. Professor Schwab was excited when President Mnangagwa disclosed the amount of progress the Second Republic had made to restore the key macroeconomic fundamentals in Zimbabwe. Resultantly, the President was accorded a special honour of being among high profile delegates that would be invited to the WEF next year in January.
In his statement on the WEF in Africa President Mnangagwa noted that Zimbabwe was in transition. After two decades of isolation the country was now determined to once again be an active member of the global community. The nation pursues a bold economic reform agenda; promoting and protecting private enterprise; eradicating corruption; and enhancing accountability and transparency.
As alluded to by the United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, at the WEF, African countries should start to access digital technologies. The lack of access to digital technologies would continue to cause economic exclusion of the majority of the nations and citizens.
Challenges affecting the progress of the WEF on Africa and African Union (AU) can be highlighted as Afrophobia. Afrophobia has been profound in South Africa. Afrophobic attacks of fellow Africans in South Africa remains a hindrance to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). AfCFTA promotes the freedom of movement by people across Africa.
Speaking on the behaviour of South Africans to Africans, South African Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni told those in attendance at the WEF for Africa that the majority of South Africans were against what was happening. He expressed that the majority of South Africans were appalled.
It remains important that Africans live together as Africans. Any African must be free to live anywhere in Africa without any fears. Africans are interrelated as they share the same history and struggles. With Africans there should be no difference hence the advocacy of an AU. Africa should be united under one spirit of development and prosperity to commence its industrial revolution.
According to the WEF online website, the WEF was commenced in 1971 as a non-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.
The WEF believes that it provides a platform that brings progress by bringing together people from all walks of life to drive and influence positive economic change.