Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE 24th edition of Zimbabwe’s premier mining, engineering and transport (Mine Entra) expo begins in Bulawayo today with all foreign exhibitors from five countries having arrived for the show yesterday.
Organisers of the annual event, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company, yesterday confirmed that all was set for the expo amid high hopes that the 2019 Mine Entra would be bigger and better than the previous editions.
Speaking by telephone from the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre, the venue of the expo, ZITF Company acting general manager Mr Nicholas Ndebele said as organisers of the event, it was all systems go, as preparations for the expo had gone well.
“Preparations for the show have gone well and it’s all systems go. As we speak, we are happy that there is some activity as some exhibitors have arrived and are busy putting up their stands. We expect more visitors to arrive today (yesterday) ahead of the show,” he said.
The exhibition, which over the years has attracted local and foreign exhibitors, has this year attracted interest from six countries including Zimbabwe as well as South Africa, Zambia, China, Kenya, and South Korea.
Last year, five countries including Zimbabwe participated at the show.
A total of 200 direct exhibitors have registered participation at the trade showcase with 29 percent of that figure being from Bulawayo while in terms of local participation, 64 percent of the confirmed exhibitors were coming from Harare and the remainder from other cities.
“There is palpable excitement as exhibitors are arriving and putting final touches to their exhibition stands to get ready for the show.
The ZITF Company once again welcomes local and international mining, engineering, transport, building and construction industries’ stakeholders to the annual expo,” said Mr Ndebele.
Exhibitors at this year’s Mine Entra occupy over 5 600 square metres, which translates to 80 percent of the space made available for sale.
The specialised exhibition, which ends on Friday under the theme, “Resourcing the Future: Exploring and Leveraging Mining Potential”, will be officially opened by Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando tomorrow.
This year’s expo will feature an interesting and varied product mix appealing to large and small-scale mining operations.
Mr Ndebele said some of the products on display include detection and lifting equipment, chemicals and explosives, compressors, protective clothing and equipment, seals, bearings and gears, drones, as well as medical aid, insurance and security services.
Focus of the show will be on facilitating discussions on tapping the country’s mining potential, identifying and kick-starting the catalytic actions necessary for progress on sustainable exploration, mining, processing, and management of mineral resources for the benefit of the country at large.
He said this year’s show would be entirely characterised by high-level engagement, profitable networking and on-site deal-flow as well as different knowledge-sharing platforms that seek to add further impetus to the national drive to make mining a catalyst for inclusive economic growth.
Key highlights of the event include the Women in Mining Conference and Young Professionals Forum to be held on the first day of the show.
The above events will highlight the available opportunities for women and youth throughout the mining value chain to enable each group to achieve full potential and contribute positively to Zimbabwe’s sustainable economic development.
Other key highlights of the 2019 Mine Entra edition will also include the 2019 Mine Entra Conference, small-scale miners’ conference hosted by the miners’ representative body, the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF).
In an interview, ZMF director public relations and mining promotion Mr Dosman Mangisi said his organisation was at this year’s Mine Entra exhibiting achievements they made recently regards to fostering small-scale mining operations.
“As ZMF, we are exhibiting at this year’s Mine Entra achievements that we have made as an organisation in trying to promote small-scale mining operations across the country.
“Such achievements include the medicine deal, fuel deal, gold service centres deal as well as the mechanisation of small-scale miners deal,” he said, adding that at the expo, they will also unpack future deals ZMF would be rolling out to foster small-scale miners’ activities. — @okazunga