Darlington Musarurwa in MAPUTO, Mozambique, and Joseph Madzimure in HARARE
President Mnangagwa flew to Mozambique yesterday for the 12th edition of the US-Africa Business Summit, which provides Zimbabwe with a platform to engage the United States of America and African private sector executives, international investors and multilateral stakeholders.
He was received at the Maputo International Airport by Zimbabwean ambassador to the United States Ammon Mutembwa and the Zimbabwean envoy to Major-General of Mozambique Nicholas Dube, representatives of the host government and senior embassy officials. President Mnangagwa's administration is stepping up efforts to engage and reconquer bilateral and multilateral partners to reintegrate the country into the global family of nations and pave the way for investment after two decades of isolation.
In an interview before leaving Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo said the summit must witness the launch of a $ 60 billion facility for Africa's development. As you can remember, there has been a lot of development in big powers, starting with the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (Focac) in China, which has committed to investing $ 60 billion for Africa's development, "he said.
"The US has also launched its own US-Africa Business Summit, in which they hope to launch a $ 60 billion facility for Africa, which is why His Excellency President Mnangagwa is going to Mozambique, but at the invitation of Mozambique."
Dr. Moyo said the $ 60 billion would help the African private sector "to sustain itself."
President Mnangagwa will join 10 other Heads of State and Government from across the continent, who are registered as guest speakers.
The four-day event is being jointly organized by Mozambique and the Business Council for Africa (CCA).
CCA is a Washington-based business association that promotes business and investment opportunities between the US and Africa.
More than 1 000 senior executives will be present.
More importantly, the summit offers participants the opportunity to seek investments in various sectors, such as agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, ICT and finance, among others.
In addition to providing space for the network with key private and government decision-makers, the summit is also a platform to advocate for effective US trade and investment policies.
An important discussion on post-cyclone Idai reconstruction and private sector involvement will be held today.
Trade between Zimbabwe and the US has been steadily increasing in the past two years.
Official US Census statistics indicate that Zimbabwe exported more than $ 75 million worth of goods to Washington last year, representing a 60 percent jump from the $ 47 million in 2017.
US imports dropped sharply by 16% to $ 33.7 million from $ 33.9 million in the same period.
Overall, the country had a positive trade surplus of US $ 41.3 million in 2018.
The same trend spread for the new year, with exports in the period from January to April reaching US $ 17.9 million against imports, which stood at US $ 13.2 million.
It is believed that there is potential to exponentially increase trade relations between the two countries if Washington removes the almost two decades sanctions against Harare.
Washington is currently seeking a position in Africa – home to about one billion people – for its products as it aims to further boost its $ 19 trillion economy.
The ten Heads of State and Government that will join President Mnangagwa at the multi-day event include President Filipe Nyusi, President Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Hage Geingob (Namibia), Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) , Peter Mutharika (Malawi), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), King Mswati III (Eswatini), José Mário Vaz (Guiné-Bissau), Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
Among the senior officials of the Washington government in India are Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary of the US (Bureau of African Affairs in the US Department of State); and Seward Jones, deputy deputy secretary (Middle East and Africa in the trade department.
Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (Africa) Farid Fezoua and IMF Executive Director Erik Bethel are also part of the line-up.
President Mnangagwa is accompanied by Ministers Dr Sibusiso Moyo (Foreign Affairs and International Trade), July Moyo (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing), Professor Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Joel Matiza (Transport and Infrastructure Development) structure) and Mangaliso. Ndlovu (Industry and Commerce).
He was seen at RGM International Airport by the Minister of Veterans Affairs for Defense and War, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Chief Secretary of the President and Cabinet Dr. Misheck Sibanda, heads of service and other senior government officials. Vice President Constantine Chiwenga is the interim president.