Engagement and re-engagement bearing fruit

Derick Tsimba

The engagement and re-engagement efforts by President Emmerson Mnangagwa are continuing to bear fruit following the cemented efforts by the President to ensure that the economic and political impasse is solved for Zimbabwe to once again return to its prime days of economic glory.

By definition, re-engagement is a method used by salespersons to reach out to the customers who used to be interested in and engaged with their company, but become uninterested due to various reasons of their concerns.

In the case of Zimbabwe, due to the land reform programme, Zimbabwe was isolated from the Western community and fell prey to the economic and political impasse. Following the establishment of the Second Republic in 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa committed himself to re-engaging and mending relations with the international community especially countries in Western Europe, which had imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe since 2002.

This year a significant turn that showed a positive light on the re-engagement policy was the removal of three Zimbabweans from sanctions by the European Union (EU).   The move by EU to remove Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, and former first lady Grace Mugabe from the sanctions list proved that the re-engagement policy had gained footing as the country progressed from 2017 to 2022 and that the policy had been capable for easing the stance by formally hostile nations to Zimbabwe.

In May 2022 riding on the success of the engagement and re-engagement initiative, President Mnangagwa managed to lure a foreign based company from Dubai to invest in Zimbabwe. The President managed to meet and discuss business partnership on behalf of the country with a three member delegation from DP World, which is one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, owned by the government of Dubai in United Arab Emirates. DP World has since shown interest in setting up a logistics and a dry port project in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has also become home to investment from Mulk Holdings International FCZ a multinational conglomerate with diversified business interests spanning primarily in four sectors i.e. Construction, Renewable Energy, Plastics and Health Care and boasts a net worth of two billion AED. Mulk Holdings owns and manages a group of 18 companies under the leadership of its Chairman, Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, for more than two decades. That is the magnitude the re-engagement and engagement policy has managed to reach, with potential to turn around the fortunes of the country.

Going forward to secure Zimbabwe’s future in partnering the international community, Government has already approved the setting up of a US$1 billion worth of projects by Mulk Holdings International FZC, in a development that is in line with the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra.

A remarkable progress made by Zimbabwe from the engagement and re-engagement policy is the advancement the country has made to take up the post of the Vice Chairman of the Africa Diamond Producers' Association (ADPA). Zimbabwe has also become the Vice Chair of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) owing to President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement initiatives. KPCS is a global body of diamond-producing nations totalling 52 participants who represent 82 countries, as well as the European Union and its member states being represented as a single participant.

It will be a great achievement for Zimbabwe next year when it is expected to assume the full Chairmanship in both organizations. This achievement should be quite significant for Zimbabwe, a country that for over a decade ago, faced challenges in the export of its diamonds and resorted to refocusing its international policy to engage and re-engage the international community.

From the period of isolation by the international community, the President took the country through the process of formulating the engagement and re-engagement policy, its implementation and the commitment to invest in Zimbabwe by the international community. The ADPA and the KPCS readmission is ample proof of how the engagement and re-engagement process shall continue to bear fruit to remove the political and economic impasse by the international community on Zimbabwe.