The Covid-19 pandemic was supposed to be a challenge, instead, it presented an opportunity to Restart Zimbabwe’, asserted Hon. Dr. Constantino D.N.G. Chiwenga, Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in a session on the second day of the 6th Global Business Forum (GBF) Africa 2021 in Dubai.
Organised by Dubai Chamber under the theme Transformation Through Trade, the forum continued today at the Dubai Exhibition Centre. Taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai, the high-level event is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.
“We reengineered our investment to rise to the occasion,” asserted His Excellency Chiwenga, who was interviewed by Sangu Delle, CEO of Ghana’s Africa Health Holdings. “In no time, we found ourselves producing PPEs, sanitizers, medicines, and we progressed to the point where we are now producing medical oxygen for our own hospitals.”
Zimbabwe’s efforts were not limited to the health sector, however, with the local industrial sector also witnessing renewed investment and growth. “[During the pandemic,] the movement of goods and services became slow,” H.E. Chiwenga added, noting that this prompted the country to utilise its local abilities and opportunities. “All shop shelves are now full of local products. The pandemic was an opportunity for us to explore how we can utilise our capacities.”
The Vice President went on to name agriculture as another sector that has witnessed growth.
“Zimbabwe is endowed with natural resources, good climate, fertile soil, and is centrally positioned within southern Africa, which facilitates interconnection with all countries,” H.E .said.
“There is no crop you cannot grow in Zimbabwe. We have done our research and found that every crop out there can be grown in Zimbabwe,” H.E. Chiwenga explained. “The only way you can guarantee the production and productivity of crops is irrigation; we have the Zambezi River flowing through the country – it is the fourth-longest river in Africa – and we have 10,700 dams, making us the most dammed country on the African continent.”
“We started out looking to meet our strategic needs, but we will eventually be producing an excess of two million tons of grain. And we are working to revamp our horticulture sector, as well as to boost our livestock production,” H.E. added.
The Vice President went on to underline that Zimbabwe is a country rich with 62 different minerals, including gold, platinum, nickel, lithium, coal, as well as an array of 17 rare metals. “This presents yet another area where great work can be done,” H.E. Chiwenga noted.