Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWE is embarking on a massive rebranding exercise to improve the image of the country and turnaround the economy.
Minister of State for Bulawayo provincial affairs Cde Angeline Masuku yesterday told journalists that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had initiated the re-branding of the country to improve its image.
She said all the country’s provinces are expected to rebrand hence Bulawayo was also rebranding.
Zimbabwe’s image was battered internationally during the rule of former President Robert Mugabe resulting in international isolation and low foreign direct investment.
Investors have also been pessimistic about the country’s Indigenisation and Empowerment laws.
President Mnangagwa has said Government will embark on a re-engagement exercise so that Zimbabwe joins the community of nations.
He said the thrust now is to aggressively market Zimbabwe as an investment destination of choice and all was being done to improve ease of doing business.
The Government is working on a new 100-Day Action Plan meant to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) hence the emphasis on improving the ease of doing business.
Cde Masuku said Bulawayo Province has already set targets with various initiatives put in place to rebrand and move along with the rest of the country within the next 100 days.
“We’re all aware that President Mnangagwa has put in place a number of strategies and reforms that are aimed at developing our great nation. One of these strategies is nation branding. We have therefore started the process of rebranding Bulawayo together with other provinces.
“This is meant to change foreigners’ negative perceptions of Zimbabwe,” said Cde Masuku.
She said building a positive image of the country has a direct impact on socio economic development hence the need for rebranding.
“A provincial approach is going to be implemented since national branding is a summation of Zimbabwe’s provincial brands which offer unique attributes requiring highlighting.
“Having said that, we have a number of tasks set up for us as Bulawayo. At the end of a period of 100 days we’re expected to have a functional website, a provincial video and a provincial information pack/brochure,” said Cde Masuku.
She said she was already working with businesspeople in the province to revive industries.
“How we reach these goals is up to us as key players. We need to brain storm as one team and come up with innovative ideas that are unique to Bulawayo.
“These initiatives also include showcasing the rich culture, heritage and natural resources as well as investment opportunities available in our province,” said Cde Masuku.
She urged Bulawayo residents to join in the rebranding exercise and play their part in reviving the economy.
“We want to work with everybody to resolve the challenges we are facing as citizens,” said Cde Masuku. — @pamelashumba1