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Upcoming Russia-Africa Summit to unlock opportunities for Zimbabwe

29.08.2019
Article from AFRIC editorial
The more the Russia-Africa summit draws closer to the set day, the more anxious people become. The Zimbabwe Business Community has already expressed optimism and hope that the pending Russia-African summit would bring a great milestone for the Southern African country, which has seen tremendous decline in its economy as a result of a trade embargo and other sanctions imposed on the country by the United States of America and the European Union. Zimbabwe is among the nations that will take part in the first ever Russia-Africa Summit billed for October this year. This now stands as an assurance to the country’s business community, which believes the upcoming summit will open opportunities, especially economic opportunities for Africa and Zimbabwe in particular.

Government’s assurance

Since the new leadership of Zimbabwe was installed in 2017, there has been efforts to turn a new and positive page in the country. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to revamp the already dwindling economy of the southern African nation. Thus he has embarked on seeking closer economic ties with his development partners both in Africa and beyond to uplift the economy of his country. In January, President Mnangagwa paid a courtesy visit to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during which both leaders discussed bilateral ties between Russia and Zimbabwe. It was during this meeting that the Zimbabwean strongman appealed to President Putin, whom according to Mnangagwa is his ‘’elder brother’’, to stand by him as he seeks to lift Zimbabwe out of its economic woes.  In his words, President Mnangagwa said “Your Excellency, I would wish that we now attend to deepening economic cooperation between our countries, and our country is developing – it is a third-world country – so that you, as a senior brother, can hold my hand as I try to develop Zimbabwe”.  As reported by the government of Zimbabwe, the two nations were able to agree a series of deals in diverse sector.

Recently, the government of Zimbabwe revealed that Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmerson Mnangagwa of Russia and Zimbabwe respectively, agreed on a multi-dollar billion deals covering different areas of the Zimbabwe economy. More attention was directed to sectors like Agriculture, mining, health, tourism, energy, and media. The two leaders resolved that the deals would be inked at the first ever Russia-Africa summit in 2019. This undoubtedly defines why the Business Community of Zimbabwe is confident about the economic prospect of the summit, hence a no missed event.  The mastermind of the Zimbabwe-Russia Business Forum, who also doubles as president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Mr Tamuka Macheka a week ago, defined Russia-Africa summit as a platform for proper networking, where African nations can exchange business ideas with prospective investors from Russia.  Zimbabwe is confident that this summit will help the country materialize the objective of vision 2030. Zimbabwe is actually experiencing its dark moments has the economy is grinding.

RUSSIA-AFRICA  summit

Africa has become the most sought continent in recent times, as its development partners try to create a more conducive and serene atmosphere for business.  There has been a number of remarkable meetings between Africa and international partners, which have greatly defined the continent’s trajectory in recent times. In less than two months, Russia and Africa would be meeting for the first time under the Russia-Africa platform, as the bodies are on the verge of face-lifting their relations. Thus, the city of Sochi-Russia will play host to a two-day summit, with Russia and Africa relations being at the center of discussion. Slated for October 24, the first Russia-Africa summit is expected to be chaired by President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also head of Africa’s number one institutional bloc- the African Union. The summit, the first of its kind in the history of Russia-Africa ties, is open to all African presidents.  As earlier underlined by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov , the Russia-Africa Summit will be a gateway to more comprehensive ties between Russia and Africa,  paving the way for future collaboration. Expectations remain high among leaders seeking economic ties with Moscow.  Important deals are expected to signed at the end of this summit. However, it is but obvious that after the summit, Russia-Africa ties will take another turn.

The reality is that this summit will not only benefit Zimbabwe’s business class, but the African continent as a whole. Trading with a more experienced, industrialized and developed nation like Russia is already a great milestone for African nations, especially at a time the continent is trying to set a perfect pace for the implementation of the historic African Continental Free Trade Area. This summit to a larger extent would be beneficial to African stakeholders if they positively exploit the opportunity. Exchange of business ideas goes a long way to improve knowhow.

Article from AFRIC editorial

Photo Credit : google image/illustration

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