Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa this week hosted a series of side meetings while in attendance of the World Economic Summit in Switzerland, where he met with Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Malawi’s Lazarus Chakwera in hopes of developing regional partnerships and luring investors to the Southern African nation.
According to analysts the costs of attending the World Economic Forum are pegged at $19,000 per delegate which coupled with Zimbabwe’s leader charting a private Swiss jet costing $30,000 per hour has left them questioning Mnangagwa’s priorities.
Sekai Nzenza, Zimbabwe’s Industries Minister who was part of Mnangagwa’s delegation for the Davos summit said it was important for Zimbabwe to have a presence at the global meeting.
“The president and government are doing everything to lure investors to Zimbabwe,” said Nzenza.
Nzenza’s sentiments are supported by Masimba Mavaza, the British programs coordinator for the ruling ZANU PF.
“The president is in Davos for the second time and his message is the same- Zimbabwe is open for business,” said Mavaza.
Prosper Chitambara, an economist and member of the Labor and Economic Development Institute of Zimbabwe supports Mnangagwa's decision to attend the Davos summit but stresses the importance of implementing resolutions upon return.
“The World Economic Forum is a very important platform so it is critical to be there as a government,” said Chitambara, adding, “We should go beyond the forum and execute what delegates bring back from Davos.”
Kimpton Gundani, a business expert, and the chief executive of CEO Round Table Zimbabwe agrees with Chitambara, however, urges Mnangagwa’s government to prioritize addressing local policies which are hindering economic growth.
“It’s good to go to these forums but we also need to fix our own policies at home and address the ease of doing business in the country,” said Gundani.