Mnangagwa, Liberia’s George Weah headline Africa business forum

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AT least 1,200 business leaders, international investors and policy makers will give an ear to President Emmerson Mnangagwa as he presents his ideas for revitalizing the distressed Zimbabwean economy at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan this March.

Mnangagwa, who took over power last November, has committed himself to reforms including dealing with corruption and revising anti-investment policies such as the country’s indigenisation laws.

Following his recent Davos trip, Mnangagwa is on the presenters list for the Africa CEO Forum, a platform which discusses Africa’s development, scheduled for 26 and 27 March in Ivory Coast.

“In an unprecedented inter-presidential panel, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and Zimbabwe’s new president will discuss ways to lift the country out of its isolation and get the economy back on its feet,” reads the organisation’s press release circulated this Monday.

“Gearing up to face these challenges and preparing Zimbabwe to re-engage with the rest of the world, President Mnangagwa will present his country’s economic potential to the international investor and business community at the Africa CEO Forum.”

Also expected to attend … New Liberia president George Weah

Mnangagwa, a beneficiary of a military coup which removed former president Robert Mugabe after 37 years in power, has mostly been marketing the country’s mining resources and agricultural potential.

The Forum’s organisers believe the Zimbabwean leader will have a “prime opportunity to tap from Nigeria’s experience”.

“As the world’s third-largest platinum producer and with abundant diamond reserves, significant agricultural resources, and one of the highest adult literacy rates in Africa, Zimbabwe has a lot to offer,” the organisers said.

“Having emerged from a long period of economic isolation, Nigeria offers a solid example on which to base discussions on strategic priorities that must be implemented to revive Zimbabwe’s economy and put an end to sanctions.”

Zimbabweans, battered by an economic crisis that has lasted nearly two decades, had high expectations when Mnangagwa assumed office last year.

Many are however, losing hope after the new government failed to achieve much in its first 100 days in office.

Meanwhile, according to conference organisers, Mnangagwa and Liberia’s president George Weah will be the latest additions to the list of African presidents who have attended previous editions of the Forum such as the presidents of Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.

The Africa CEO Forum is organised by Jeune Afrique Media Group who are publishers of Jeune Afrique and The Africa Report as well as Rainbow Unlimited, the latter a Swiss company which specializes in event organisation and economic promotion.