“Africa must speak with one voice for economic growth”
Office of Mashudu Netsianda Bulawayo
Africa has been urged to have a united economic front, with leaders speaking with one political voice to ensure the continent’s economic growth in line with the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, the deputy said. President Constantino Chiwenga.
Addressing delegates at the inaugural Connect Africa Symposium at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo yesterday, Vice President Chiwenga said that through a united economic front, Africa will be able to strengthen its common voice and its policy space in global trade negotiations and to accelerate its trade position. in the world market.
“As Africans, we need to have a united economic front and speak with one political voice. There are many opportunities for continental development and the most recent is the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area which aims to accelerate intra-African trade and advance Africa’s trading position on the continent. the global marketplace by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade. negotiations,” he said.
“All of this contributes to the overall socio-economic development of the continent, but none of this can be achieved without solidarity.”
Vice President Chiwenga said that Africa is a rich continent with unlimited potential yet to be explored and harnessed for the benefit of all its people.
“Despite the economic, social and political challenges that have often been overemphasized on our continent, it is undeniable that we are home to a large part of the world’s mineral, oil and gas reserves. It therefore goes without saying that the African economy is well managed to sustain itself for the benefit of its present and future generations,” he said.
“Let us therefore affirm our unmistakable African identity in the world characterized by the ubuntu philosophy and the hallmark of African hospitality. We must reimagine, rethink and refocus Africa’s future through solidarity-based economic development.
The Vice President said that through collective efforts and hard work, Africa has successfully overcome the disruptions of Covid-19 and continues to chart a path inspired by determination to achieve its ambitious goals.
“The first key lesson from the experiences of Covid-19 for Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa is that firstly, not much can be done in isolation, continents prioritize safety and well-being of their people. We had to realize as Africans that we are alone. Therefore, there is an inherent need for us as Africans to work hard towards a common goal, hence the need to pursue ubuntu practice,” he said.
“I am because we are, which emphasizes acting with consideration for the next human being while building a community that exercises compassion and upholds the dignity of all. Ubuntu therefore presents itself as a guiding philosophy for the decisions we make today for a better Africa tomorrow.
Vice President Chiwenga said innovation is key to accelerating development as he urged African countries to maximize the gains of the new normal in the context of the 4th industrial revolution by building on educational standards raised synonymous with his people.
“Therefore, I fervently hope that this symposium will come up with practical and implementable resolutions that will help improve the quality of life of our people on the continent. This objective should be a guiding principle in our interactive engagements aimed at bringing Africa to a position of competitive excellence,” he said.
“According to the African Union’s Agenda 2063, our ultimate goal is to achieve inclusive social and economic development, continental and regional integration, democratic governance, peace and security, among other facets, and to reposition the Africa to become a dominant player on the world stage.
Vice President Chiwenga said platforms such as the Connect Africa symposium, held under the theme: Reimagining the Future: A United Africa, a Prosperous Africa,” are necessary for economic growth and trade.
The Connect Africa symposium, which has since become part of the annual ZITF, was launched two weeks after the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government, during which member states sought to address issues of regional importance.
“It seeks to achieve the same goal, but with a collective effort of key players and decision makers in the public and private sectors. I am confident that the goals and objectives of this event will be defined through ongoing discussions,” Vice President Chiwenga said.
“The Connect Africa Symposium is Zimbabwe’s acknowledgment of African confidence and the conventional wisdom that ‘if you want to go fast, go alone’. If you want to go far, go with others. If you go with others, you can go as far as the world allows you.
The Vice President said the country sees fit to invite its neighbors to deliberate and cross paths in terms of economic growth.
“Today’s meeting charts the course for the transformation of our beloved continent into a united and prosperous economic superpower. You may recall that Covid-19 disrupted industry, business and the trajectory of our overall economic growth,” he said.
The symposium brought together local and regional political and economic actors to examine possible solutions to the socio-economic challenges facing the African continent.
Chaired by the Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr. Sekai Nzenza, the Connect Africa symposium, brought together a representative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Batanai Chikwene, the Angolan Secretary of State for Trade and in Industry, Mr. Amadeu Leitão Nunes, Ms. Moono Mupotola, Country Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for Zimbabwe, and Dr. Anthony Ebo Coleman, Principal Economist of Afreximbank.
The platform focuses on strengthening trade and productive integration through an industrial policy that harnesses regional value chains.