Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says his administration’s policies and programmes are anchored on private sector-led growth, with emphasis on increased productivity, value addition, beneficiation and exports.
He was speaking at the inaugural ED Mnangagwa Business Summit held at the Harare International Conference Centre this Friday.
The inaugural ED Mnangagwa Business Summit organised by the private sector brought together businesses from various sectors as they met and spoke about strides achieved in economic growth and challenges that need to be addressed to ensure businesses operate efficiently.
As the country works on economic growth, President Mnangagwa underscored the importance of the private sector in attaining this feat.
President Mnangagwa noted, ‘‘I am encouraged that the summit recognizes the strides the second republic is making in transforming the economy through the implementation of sound policies as we March towards the attainment of our vision of a prosperous and empowered upper-middle-income economy by 2030.
“My administration’s policies and programs remain anchored on private sector-led growth, with emphasis on increased productivity, value addition, beneficiation and exports. This is critical for enhanced domestic production by our firms as we seek to increase capacity utilization as well as make inroads into African continental free trade area markets.’’
President Mnangagwa also highlighted that significant progress has been made in sectors such as mining and agriculture.
President Mnangagwa said, ‘‘To date, significant progress has been made with regards to fiscal consolidation, mining sector growth, agriculture, production, tourism and manufacturing, among others. Indeed nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo. Tisu vene vayo, we leave our country to go and see skyscrapers, let us be proud of what we have.’’
Owning the means of production is key, said the President.
President Mnangagwa added, ‘‘The onus is now on you as business people to grab these opportunities, by not being just retailers but also part of the production value chain. You should graduate to become patriotic citizens who have full ownership of the means of production and ultimately the economy,”
In the same manner that business and government are meeting, President Mnangagwa also indicated the need to facilitate dialogue between the education sector and industry to ensure the young crop of innovators works with the specifications of the needs of the industry.
President Mnangagwa also said, ‘‘In fact, we need dialogue between the education sector and industry so that they know what is wanted.’’
The country is heading to the polls and while assuring the business community that mechanisms are in place to guarantee the security of persons and property, the President also called for peace.
The President also took time to speak against bullying in schools and drug abuse.
More interactions between business and government were cited as key in ensuring areas of concern are addressed.