UNGA, an opportunity for Zimbabwe to market itself

by Peacemaker Zano                                     

Zimbabwe has been living in isolation from other international countries and giant multinational corporations for a long time. This has had a negative effect on the country’s social and economic growth, thereby denying it the means to positively transform itself due to lack of trading partners. 

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa took oath of office on 24 November 2017 after Operation Restore Legacy and following his poll victory in the July 30 harmonised elections, his main thrust has been to revive the ailing economy and make Zimbabwe a better place. Thus, President Mnangagwa pronounced his new economic mantra by declaring that ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business.’

For Zimbabwe’s economy to transform, the nation must have concordial relationships with other foreign countries and investors. Apparently, the nation needs more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for it to ensure economic revival.  To address the need to transform Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa has been calling for investors to come and make investments in the country, a move that will benefit the local citizenry.

President Mnangagwa will be part of this year’s 73rd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Summit which is currently taking place in New York. His attendance is a plus to the entire nation, since the Head of State and Government will have an opportunity to meet, interact and exchange notes with other global leaders and investors on socio-economic and other developmental issues.

This year’s UNGA summit theme, ‘Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies’ resonates well with President Mnangagwa’s vision of rebuilding and making Zimbabwe a great nation for the betterment of its citizens. To add on, the President has been calling for peace and unity among Zimbabweans in rebuilding the country’s economy.

Firstly, Zimbabwe needs to restore its status as the breadbasket of Southern Africa, and possibly spread to the rest of the world. Additionally, the nation needs to improve on its trading patterns with other international nations on balance of trade. Thus, Zimbabwe needs to re-engage with key strategic international partners to enhance development.

In macroeconomics, the balance of trade refers to the relative amounts of goods and services that an economy imports and exports. The balance of trade can be a trade surplus, which means that a country exports more than it imports, or a trade deficit, which is the reverse case.

While commissioning the Hopeville Housing project in Bulawayo, this month, President Mnangagwa emphasised that politics will now be taking a back seat and Government’s focus will now be directed towards economy resuscitation.

In addition, while presenting his State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President highlighted that the Government will promote Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPA) as a way of promoting international trade. However, these BIPPAs will positively bear fruits if the country is widely connected to the international world through economic engagements and re-engagements on such platforms as the UNGA meeting.

President Mnangagwa is expected to deliver a speech that is likely seek acceptance and thawing of relations with the global community at the UNGA summit. It is also through such platforms that African countries would expect more investment opportunities, more trading opportunities, more social integration and economic coherence.

With a new leader, President Mnangagwa representing Zimbabwe at this year’s UNGA summit, surely, more economic opportunities are in the pipeline.