IVORY COAST: Mnangagwa points the way to Africa’s economic development

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By Business Day

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that African countries must begin to make their people develop confidence in themselves and the right competences in order to contribute to the development of their nations.

Mnangagwa made the observation at the just-concluded Africa Investment Forum Market Days 2022 in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire.

Responding to the question on how investors’ perception of risk in Africa has affected investment in Zimbabwe, the President said that the perception of risk does not equate with the reality on ground, pointing out that Zimbabwe’s case has always been peculiar given its experiences with the West.

“Each African country must prioritise what we want and invite investors in the areas that we want; we have to make those choices ourselves,” he said.

“Zimbabwe is in a peculiar position in regards to the issues by way we are isolated, in the way we try to develop our country by doing what we think is best for us,” the President added.

Mnangagwa recalled how his country was able to combat the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic through self-help, urging African countries to take their destinies in their own hands.

“During the outbreak of the Covid-19, we got no help from anybody. We did not receive help from the West. We looked inwards. Within nine months we were able to produce our local oxygen. If we looked into the potential of our young people, we can achieve a lot. Today, we produce a lot of that. We depended on what we could do on our own.

“We want to make our people develop confidence in themselves in order to develop their own country,” he said.

On the perception of risk by investors, the President said:” Before we spend time to look at the perception of others of Africa, we should look at what is available to us and how they can be of benefit, and develop them in that regard.

“Particular for Zimbabwe, we cherish our collaboration and share our challenges with our brothers before we can look outside. Hence, I appeal to our brothers and sisters in Africa that God gave us this continent to develop it, and we must collaborate to achieve that.

“There is no way the Western world would like to help Africa in such a way as to make the continent compete with them on equal level.”

Mnangagwa also emphasised that collaboration and partnership with the West must be to the extent that such partnership can help the country and profits equitably shared and not on the basis of weak and strong partnership as has been the case with many African countries. He said it must be on the basis of partnership as equal partners.

While speaking last Thursday at a special event on the margins of the event, the Zimbabwean President said: “Private sector opportunities in Zimbabwe are limitless.”

He urged investors to tap into the huge opportunities and shun negative perceptions of risk.

At that special event, Mnangagwa said: “Our mission here is to explain ourselves, assure investors that Zimbabwe is safe investment destination.”