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President challenges business as CEO roundtable opens

President challenges business as CEO roundtable opens

Story by Sifiso Sibanda

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the Second Republic’s efforts to create a conducive environment for business to thrive should be met with hard work and strategic thinking.

He was speaking at the official opening of the 9th edition of the CEO Africa round table in Victoria Falls this Thursday.

The President challenged business leaders to take the lead in building a sound economy that competes with others in the region and internationally.

He reminded the chief executive officers that the laws governing industry and commerce in the country are a result of their recommendations and as such there are no excuses for failure.

“In the last five years, you have worked with my government on policy direction, our vision and economic targets and as the private sector, you are the ones driving the economy. So, the burden of developing this economy is on you as chief executive officers and so you can’t blame government because we created the conducive environment for you to operate and if you want further adjustments, come to us we will continue to do so. But the nation must know that you are the ones driving this economy, not us politicians,” he said.

He said it is only Zimbabweans who must upscale development in this country, hence the need for business leaders to play a part in accelerating inclusive development in line with the rural industrialisation programme.

He added, “As a private sector, you have to contribute to the development of these rural communities where as government, we want to provide clean water in the 35 000 villages to help our people. So, you can’t stand by and watch, but must be a part of this process because you are a key component of national development and it must not end with a good balance sheet of your companies, but must spread to the nation at large and make sure no community is left behind.”

The President further challenged the industry to partner with universities in making use of innovation hubs.

“We need the industry to partner with our universities in developing new products and services through our innovative hubs. We are doing this so that you take up these new opportunities that are a result of our new approach to education. So the industry now has a chance to improve on these and work with government in this process of transforming our systems and services,” said the President.

Zimbabwean business people were also advised to take advantage of the fruits of the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement strategy by applying for loans being availed by regional and international financial institutions to build their financial capacity.

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