Prosper Ndlovu, Business Editor
THE collaborative effort of a top Zimbabwean architect Mr Emiel Murwira and students from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has aided Zimbabwe to come up with a “top notch” pavilion design to house the country’s product and service exhibits at the Expo Dubai 2020.
The Zimbabwe Pavilion is strategically located in the “Opportunities District” of the prime global expo in the United Arab Emirates where the country seeks to harvest huge investment and trade gains.
Zimbabwe will join 190 other participating countries for the global showcase to be held under the theme:
“Connecting Minds, Creating Future”, which opens on October 1, 2021 and runs until March 31, 2022.
Taking part in the expo is critical for the Second Republic’s international re-engagement and economic diplomacy drive, under which President Mnangagwa has declared “Zimbabwe is open for business” with trade, investment and private sector led growth as key elements of the broader development matrix.
With preparations progressing well and now at advanced stages, Zimbabwe has already exhibited design creativity in the layout of its pavilion, which overlooks the grand Emirates Pavilion and the main Al Wasil Plaza, which is the core or centre of the expo events. As the pavilion detail design architect, Mr Murwira of Design Pro Architect, believes the country has deployed tremendous professional technical expertise to the concept that was initiated by students from the National University of Science and Technology.
Using his experience and vast skill, he then transformed it into detailed working drawings and technical specifications that met the required international standards and procedures.
“The exterior facades are dressed with pictures of the people of Zimbabwe, the capital city pictures and unique places such as the Great Zimbabwe and the Mighty Victoria Falls, which makes it attractive and worth the cause for an eye,” said Mr Murwira in a brief shared with Business Chronicle.
“The interior is modern and high-tech with free-flowing curved walls that are dressed with a savanna background, all drawn from the concept of the Great Zimbabwe architecture, which gave birth to the country name — Zimbabwe.”
Mr Murwira is a well-travelled architect and has been involved in several architectural tours in Singapore, China as well as Dubai and boasts of vast experience on projects undertaken not only in Zimbabwe but South Africa, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique and Swaziland, to mention but a few.
His involvement in the design project, working closely with the Government under the well-co-ordinated effort led by Expo Dubai 2020 Commissioner General, Ambassador Mary Mubi, has added great value to Zimbabwe’s image impression.
According to Mr Murwira, the journey through the country’s pavilion is chronologically planned into four zones — with Zone 1 capturing an introduction to Zimbabwe at a glance, its history, values and general demographics.
“The Great Zimbabwe wall background is qualified by the fact that Zimbabwe is the only country in the world named after a World Heritage site,” he said.
“The Second Zone calumets all key sectors of the economy amongst others being agriculture, mining, tourism with a grand view of the Victoria Falls forming the main attraction in this zone.
“Digital screens and chevron pattern (drawn from Great Zimbabwe chevron) of well-lit picture frames are carried throughout the entire pavilion.”
The hardworking and resilient people of Zimbabwe are well represented in Zone 3, which comes with detachable picture frames of celebrities, prominent people and other selected images.
The Fourth and Final Zones focuses on the future of Zimbabwe with TV screens, digital Zimbabwe map, connectivity tablets and a retail section making the key attractions, said Mr Murwira.
“A collective and well-co-ordinated design and implementation process between Zimbabwe and UAE saw this pavilion reaching practical completion stage well in time for the official opening,” he said.
“Series of site inspection and coordination visits by Zimbabwe technical team and Government officials enabled a professionally co-ordinated implementation exercise toll and the official handover on the 12th of September 2021.
“With final touches and digital installations underway, the Zimbabwe Pavilion is viewed by others as one of the remarkably interesting pavilions at the Expo.”
Zimbabwe will ride on the global spotlight provided by the expo to showcase the diverse attractive investment and trade opportunities in the country.
To achieve higher momentum the country will be exhibiting in the opportunities cluster guided by the theme: “Zimbabwe the Land of Great Opportunities”.
Ambassador Mubi has said that the platform will greatly help cast spotlight on Zimbabwe and highlight the diverse range of huge opportunities across sectors such as industrial processes, arts and culture, human capital and innovations.
“We are creating exciting content, including fashion, cotton to clothing and agriculture,” said Ambassador Mubi recently, adding that her team was seized with creating content that will excite world traders.
“The National Day is March 24, 2022. On this day we will showcase investment opportunities in the country and there will be a high-level delegation.”