Saturday, September 22, 2018

No Rest for ED in the Big Apple
22 SEP, 2018 - 00:09 
Mabasa Sasa in NEW YORK
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mnangagwa is on a mission to turn Zimbabwe into a middle-income economy in 12 short years. And the frenetic pace at which he is working in New York this week reflects how tight that timeline is.

President Mnangagwa arrived here on Thursday for the 73rd Ordinary Session of the General Assembly accompanied by a lean team that mirrors his approach to Government: there is just one minister with him (Professor Mthuli Ncube – Finance and Economic Development), then central bank governor (Dr John Mangudya) and a few senior State officials.

While the core business remains the UN General Assembly, being in the capital of global finance is too good an opportunity to pass up to lay the groundwork needed to make Zimbabwe a middle-income economy by 2030.

New York, as Frank Sinatra famously sang, is “a city that never sleeps”. Neither is President Mnangagwa.

Friday morning saw him conduct two interviews with international broadcasters; first with CNN and then with Bloomberg TV.

The choices were not coincidental. CNN speaks to America’s political classes, while Bloomberg has the ear of international capital.

Soon after that, President Mnangagwa and his “Zimbabwe is open for business” drive were at the centre of the Zimbabwe Investor Forum here; all of this happening as Prof Ncube and Dr Mangudya made vital connections at Wall Street, including at the New York Stock Exchange.

Before the General Assembly begins and ends its annual debate – where Zimbabwe’s leader will give his maiden address – President Mnangagwa will have had closed-door engagements with fellow movers and shakers, a meeting with Heidi Kuhn of Roots of Peace, dialogue with representatives of the Zimbabwean Diaspora here and those working for the UN, an interface facilitated by Kazkommerts Bank, and a face-to-face with Carmel Global Capital’s Dr Zienzi Dillon, among others.

President Mnangagwa is also scheduled to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and Belgium’s Prime Minister, Charles Michel.

He is also scheduled to address the High-Level Meeting on the Fight Against Tuberculosis, in addition to lending his weight to agendas being steered by his Zambian counterpart, President Edgar Lungu (High-Level Roundtable Event on Ending Child Marriages), and the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit.

At the latter summit, President Mnangagwa is expected to deliver a statement as part of the international community’s push to establish a “Mandela Decade of Peace”.

There are several other engagements, all of them important inasfar as they also serve to advance President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030, reintegrate Zimbabwe into the global family of nations, and promote social and human rights.

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