Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter
MOMENTUM is building up for the 62nd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) with 71 first-time direct exhibitors coming on board, pushing the total number of confirmed participants to 514, officials have said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially open this year’s premier exhibition next Friday, 29 April 2022.
The event will run under the ZITF theme: “Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent Value Chains for Economic Development”.
Giving an update on the state of preparedness during a post-Cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere said:
“The nation is advised that a total of 514 direct exhibitors had booked exhibition space and 71 of these will be exhibiting for the first time.
“A total of 14 foreign nations were expected to exhibit and these are as follows: Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Belarus, Britain, Indonesia and Japan”.
Already, exhibitors have begun working on their pavilions and hopes are high there will be immense business gains.
Vice-President, Dr Constantino Chiwenga will officially open the International Business Conference (IBC) on 27
April and deliver a keynote address at the inaugural Connect Africa Symposium the following day.
The IBC will run under the ZITF theme: “Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent Value Chains for Economic Development”.
According to the ZITF Company, there will be three-panel sessions, the first being anchored on the structural transformation of value chains.
These will highlight perspectives from business and industry leaders and will be co-chaired by the president of Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Mr Kurai Matsheza, and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president, Dr Tinashe Manzungu.
Last week, ZITF chief executive officer, Dr Nicholas Ndebele, said due to the overwhelming response and space limitations in the conference venue, this will result in limiting the number of attendees on a first-come, first-served basis.
The second panel will seek to tackle inclusive value chain development through financing and investment. This segment will be led by the executive vice-president of Afreximbank, Mr Denys Denya, managing director of BancABC Zimbabwe, Dr Lance Mambondiani who will be representing Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, IDC chairman, Mr Winstone Makamure, Zida acting chief executive, Mrs Duduzile Shinya, and AFDB country manager Ms Moono Mupotola.
The third panel will be focused on re-imagining value chain opportunities and challenges and will be chaired by ZEPARU executive director, Dr Gibson Chigumira.
Minister Muswere said in order to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth, two events have been lined-up, the Scholastica Conference and the Innovators’ Forum.
“The Scholastica Conference will run under the theme “Economic Development Through Innovation and Heritage: Promoting Talent and Skills-based Education” and will be held on 28 April, 2022.
“The Innovators’ Forum will be held on 26 and 27 April, 2022 under the theme “Innovation for Sustainable Value Chains”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has said it will be exhibiting and services including COVID-19 PCR and antigen testing, Vaccination Card activation, alcohol disorder, and drug use screening tests, among others, will be provided on-site. – @nqobilebhebhe