THIS year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) is oversubscribed with organisers still trying to find space for over 100 exhibitors who want to showcase their products, an official has said.
The country’s prime trade event will be held from April 26 to 30 under the theme: “Rethink, Reimagine, and Reinvent Value Chains for Economic Development.”
Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta will be the guest of honour at the official opening ceremony scheduled for Friday, April 29, 2022.
Already the city’s hotels and lodges have been full booked ahead of the event as Bulawayo warms up to generating more business from the expo.
ZITF chief executive officer Dr Nicholas Ndebele said he was excited by the prospects of a successful exhibition as already shown by the number of confirmed exhibitors.
“We are excited by the pace of preparations for ZITF 2022 and in particular the manner in which the market has favourably responded to our call for reinvented, re-imagined exhibition,” he said.
Dr Ndebele said 471 exhibitors had so far booked to participate at the expo, with projections that bookings might spill by a further 100 participants.
“So far in terms of the numbers, we are currently at 471 exhibitors that have expressed interest. And in fact we are experiencing a likely overflow of 128 exhibitors who we are still trying to find space for,” he said.
“We have 12 countries that have so far expressed interest in exhibiting.” In a recent Cabinet update Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza said preparations for the ZITF were on right track and indicated that this year’s exhibitions will be more exciting.
She highlighted that one of the key highlights of the expo this year will be the ‘Connect Africa Symposium’ scheduled for April 28 where President Mnangagwa will deliver the keynote address.
Minister Nzenza said the ZITF International Business Conference will be held on 27th April and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga will give the keynote address and officially open the gathering.
Another key highlight will be the ZITF Diplomats Forum scheduled for 28 April, which is a forum for business and diplomatic exchanges.
This year’s ZITF will also have platforms targeted at the youth to discuss topics such as education and innovation.
Dr Nzenza said the aim is to examine how best our future leaders can be empowered and how best they can benefit from current initiatives.
These events include the following: the Scholastica Conference scheduled for April 26, which will run under the theme: “Economic development through innovation and heritage: Promoting talent and skill-based education.”
The forum is expected to bring together learners, education experts and career advisors to share information on strategic human capital development in order to create a self-sustaining and enterprising economy.
Career guidance sessions and presentations will also run parallel while the Innovators’ Forum will take place on 26th to 27th April under the theme: “Innovation for Sustainable Value Chains.” The session will incorporate a pitch competition, a hackathon and speaker presentations.
“The forum provides a platform for young innovators and entrepreneurs to highlight their innovations, network and exchange knowledge with their peers, with a view to reviving the industry,” said the minister. — NewZiana/Chronicle Business