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ZITF 2024 prioritises carbon emission reduction

By Online Desk Organisers of the annual Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) say this year’s event will have some changes year, including higher parking charges and exclusive shuttle services, In a bid to foster sustainability and encourage healthier mobility options. These initiatives are aimed at discouraging delegates from using their cars within the exhibition premises and to promote walking. In an interview Industry and Commerce Permanent Secretary Dr. Thomas Wushe said the goal is to ease parking congestion and to significantly decrease the venue’s carbon emissions. “By urging participants to use shuttle services from surrounding hotels, we address parking strains and cut down on pollution. We are encouraging attendees to experience the exhibition on foot which will enhance their visit,” said Dr. Wushe. Meanwhile ZITF board chairperson Busisa Moyo highlighted the importance of this new development. “Zimbabwe’s vibrant innovation sector has blossomed thanks to our national initiatives, aligning with our aspirations toward equitable development and prosperity,” noted Moyo. Set to take place from Tuesday next week, at the ZITF Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo, the 64th ZITF edition will captivate attendees under the theme, “Innovation the Catalyst to Industrialisation and Trade.” Kenyan President Dr William Ruto will officially open the ZITF where over 570 exhibitors have signed up, with 65 participating for the first time, and occupying over 97 percent of the available exhibition space. The fair will feature international participants from 27 countries, including the United States, China, Germany, Belarus, Russia and the United Kingdom. In addition to the trade fair, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga will host the opening of the ZITF Welcome Cocktail and the ZITF International Business Conference on April 24. The event series will also include the ZITF Charity Golf Challenge, the ZITF Diplomats Forum, and the Connect Africa Symposium, bringing a vibrant array of activities to Bulawayo.

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Zimbabwe part of inaugural UN’s Sustainability Week

By Lastword Musekiwa Zimbabwe is taking part in the first-ever Sustainability Week, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA, convened by the President of the General Assembly for its seventy-eighth session Dennis Francis. The Sustainability Week features a series of back-to-back events consisting of thematic debates aimed at ensuring high-level attendance and progress related to ‘Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly’ (Resolution 77/335), culminating into the Summit of the Future. The event presented a platform for Zimbabwe to share experiences with other member states and showcase its contribution towards the development of a resilient and sustainable tourism industry in the country. Speaking at the forum, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbara Rwodzi reinforced the critical role of sustainable tourism in economic development and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Minister Rwodzi upadated delegates on various initiatives by Zimbabwe to develop and promote sustainable tourism practices that benefit the economy. Meanwhile Minister Rwodzi has held sideline meetings with Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno. Zimbabwe and Indonesia share excellent relations and are keen to deepen cooperation in the tourism industry. During the meeting the Ministers underscored a need to accelerate joint efforts on cultural exchange programs, capacity building, and eco-tourism programs, among other collaborations. Minister Uno hailed the role played by Minister Rwodzi in shaping the Zimbabwe tourism industry. Minister Rwodzwi also met the Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Tourism Chester Cooper and exchanged views on various issues regarding bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries. Zimbabwe is keen on collaborating with Bahamas on best practices for the tourism marketing segments and strategies as the Bahamas economy is driven by tourism industry contributing 65% to the Country’s GDP. The Bahamas is also keen on working with Zimbabwe on joint marketing, promotion campaigns, capacity building, among other initiatives. The two Minister agreed to draft a memorandum of understanding on cooperation which will be expeditiously enforced by the two parties in the shortest time.

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Let’s all celebrate Independence- Muswere

By Online Desk Zimbabweans have been called upon to participate in the country’s 44th Independence Day anniversary celebrations to be held in Murambinda, Manicaland Province today. Over 70 000 people are expected to converge at Murambinda B High School for the commemorations. Zimbabweans from all walks of life, including the business community, members of opposition political parties, traditional as well as religious leaders, have been implored to attend the celebrations. Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said it was important that Zimbabwe’s independence be celebrated by everyone. “The Government of Zimbabwe led by His Excellency, the President Dr E.D Mnangagwa is inviting all Zimbabweans to the commemoration of our 44th Independence celebrations, which will be held in Murambinda, Buhera, Manicaland Province,” said Dr Muswere yesterday. “The hosting of the main Independence celebrations in Manicaland Province is in line with the devolved hosting of national events, which was introduced by the Second Republic. “Therefore, we are rallying all religious leaders, traditional leaders, business leaders and all political leaders including opposition politicians and progressive civil society groups to be at the forefront of mobilising the people of Zimbabwe to our 44th Independence anniversary celebrations.” Dr Muswere said this year’s commemorations, which are being held under the theme, “Zimbabwe @44: Unity, Peace and Development towards Vision 2030”, were reminiscent of the country’s growth and development trajectory under the Second Republic. The theme dovetails with the Government’s adherence to the perennial values of national Independence which is the cornerstone of democracy,” he said. “This year Uhuru celebrations affirm the strategic governance endeavour of the Second Republic which has accelerated investments, the economic growth, restoration of Zimbabwe’s dignity in the community of nations, constitutionalism and economic empowerment,” he said. Today’s commemorations were preceded by the Children’s Party hosted by President Mnangagwa and the First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, yesterday. Dr Muswere added that this year’s Independence celebrations would see an Independence Gala featuring many top artistes being held today at Murambinda Growth Point. The traditional Independence Day Cup will also be held today at Murambinda High School, with Zimbabwe’s two top teams, Highlanders and Dynamos, playing. Works at the main arena that included terraces for the football pitch, the changing rooms, ablution facilities, classroom blocks at Murambinda A and B primary schools and Murambinda B Secondary School and painting of buildings at the three schools, have been completed. Desludging of ablution facilities at the three schools, including the septic tanks at ZRP Murambinda, installation of perimeter fencing at Murambinda B Secondary School and pitching of tents at the main venue, had been finalised by yesterday. Rehabilitation and grading of major roads has also been completed.

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Zimpapers CEO speaks on Zamps report

By Online Desk Despite the headwinds confronting the media business due to digital migration, the latest Zamps survey results show that Zimpapers newspapers, radios and television channel are not only resilient but continue to be market leaders in Zimbabwe, Zimpapers chief executive officer Mr Pikirayi Deketeke has said. “We are very pleased that the majority of Zimbabweans still consider our content to be the most relevant across all media platforms. “Our major newspapers that include The Herald and The Sunday Mail are still the market leaders in the print media while the others such as the Chronicle, H.Metro, Sunday News, The Manica Post and others also command significant readership,” said Mr Deketeke. “Our radio stations and the television channel have also recorded tremendous growth in listenership and viewership with Star FM emerging as Zimbabwe’s top radio station in most cities. “It is pleasant by to note that Capitalk FM, which is based in Harare is the third most listened to radio in the capital city while Diamond FM in Mutare is a cut above all radio stations listened to in the eastern highlands. “Our television channel ZTN has shown tremendous growth from 0,6 percent listenership last year to 2 percent while its competition has drastically fallen in viewership. “This gives us confidence that our investment in both television and radio is now bearing tremendous fruit. “We will continue to invest in all our media products to make sure that our content is the most sought after by Zimbabwean readers, listeners and viewers as well as digital followers,” he said.

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Minister Rwodzi hails Rainbow Tourism Group and Grand Metropolitan Hotels partnership

    By Lastword Musekiwa Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbara Rwodzi has hailed the strategic partnership between Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) and a Switzerland-based international hospitality company, the Grand Metropolitan Hotels BV (GMH). The partnership include the formation of a Zimbabwean joint venture entity that will identify and pursue new hotel opportunities in Zimbabwe and the formation of a Sub-Saharan African joint venture entity that will focus on various hotel opportunities across Sub-Saharan Africa The partnership will also see the creation of a hospitality academy in partnership with a top Swiss Hospitality School which will be a hospitality training hub aimed at expanding the human capital base in the industry and internet market. In her congratulatory message following the launch of the partnership in Cape Town, South Africa on the sidelines of the World Travel Market Africa showcase, Minister Rwodzi said: “The partnership with the a well renowned International Brand, Grand Metropolitan Hotels for the School of Hospitality that will definitely change the landscape of tourism and hospitality industry in the country and the rest of Africa. It is a welcome initiative that will complement Education 5.0 to bridge our education qualifications and skills. “I’m proud to have witnessed the launch of this partnership that will enhance the growth and competitiveness of our industry in line with our government’s priorities and strategies for socio- economic development in the country,” she said. In a statement, RTG corporate affairs and quality manager, Pride Khumbula said the strategic move is aligned with Zimbabwe’s national mantra that the country is Open for Business in line with the engagement and re-engagement agenda. “It is important to highlight that the strategic partnership is growth-oriented and specifically for the creation of new value. “The formation of the Zimbabwe Hospitality Academy is a demonstration of Zimbabwe leading in developing solutions for human capital for Africa by Africans. “The Academy will also be in collaboration with one of the best hospitality schools in Europe. It also signifies the carrying to fruition of the philosophy by President Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe is open for business and the principle of engagement and re-engagement with the whole world,” she said. GMH is a Dutch registered private company with limited liability incorporated under Dutch law and headquartered in Roermond, the Netherlands. GMH has a rich history as an independent White Label Operator with a strong balance sheet, boasting assets exceeding 200 million EUR.

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Mash West Amai’s Provincial Cookout Competitions, a huge success

By Online Desk Mashonaland West Amai’s Provincial Cookout Competitions were held at Chinhoyi University of Technology yesterday. The Cookout Competitions saw students and professional chefs showcasing their cuisine prowess in an initiative aimed at growing Gastronomy Tourism in Zimbabwe. In a speech read on her behalf by her deputy Tongai Mnangagwa, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbara Rwodzi hailed First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa for pioneering the initiative of promoting Zimbabwean Gastronomy saying its not only promoting tourism but is beneficial to the people of Zimbabwe given the health benefits of the food. Speaking at the same event in a speech read on his behalf his deputy Simelisizwe Sibanda, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira urged Zimbabweans to embrace local traditional foods, saying it promotes national culture and also curbs diseases as it is healthy. The event was also attended by Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Marian Chombo who highlighted that her province has an array of tourist attractions such as Chinhoyi Caves, National parks, Wildlife, Lake Kariba and others. Meanwhile Damaresi Zulu from Zvimba District won the Mashonaland West Amai’s Traditional Cookout (Professionals) while Allan Gadzikwa is clinched the Amai’s Traditional Cookout Mashonaland West (Students) Competition and will represent the province to the national competitions. Zimbabwe is set to host the first UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Africa from 26-28 July this year in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

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Drought: state of disaster declared . . . US$2bn needed for food relief

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared the El Nino drought that has hit Zimbabwe in the 2023/2024 summer cropping season a national state of disaster with effect from yesterday, stating that Zimbabwe needs at least US$2 billion to mitigate the effects of the drought, with significantly more people now requiring food aid. Making the declaration at State House yesterday, the President said this would allow comprehensive efforts to mobilise the needed resources and reassured the nation that the Government would ensure that no person and no place would be left without sustenance. Zambia and Malawi, also hit by the El Niño drought, have already declared similar states of disaster. Under a state of disaster the Government is able to reallocate resources and take other emergency measures to cope. President Mnangagwa said Government would intervene to mitigate the effects of drought and at the same time he sought assistance internationally and locally to help meet the needed measures. “Preliminary assessments show that Zimbabwe requires in excess of US$2 billion towards various interventions we envisage in the spectrum of our national response. Once again, let me assure you my fellow Zimbabweans, that our national response will be broad, comprehensive and all encompassing. No one and no place will be left without sustenance,” said President Mnangagwa. “The foregoing situation of the climate change-induced drought requires measures and interventions as provided for in our laws. To that end, I do hereby declare a nationwide state of disaster, due to the El Niño-induced drought. “Accordingly, I now invoke Section 27, Subsection 1 of the Civil Protection Act, which provides that if at any time it appears to the President that any disaster of such a nature and extent that extraordinary measures are necessary to assist and protect the persons affected or likely to be affected by the disaster in any area of the country, the President may, in such a manner as he considers fit, declare that, with effect from a date specified by him, a state of disaster exists within an area or areas specified by him in the declaration,” said President Mnangagwa. “By this declaration, I also call upon all Zimbabweans of goodwill, including those in the diaspora, the international community, United Nations agencies, development and humanitarian partners, international financial institutions, the private sector, churches and other faith-based organisations, as well as individuals to generously donate towards ameliorating this state of national disaster.” Zimbabwe had planted the optimum hectarage of maize and other grains that would have guaranteed good harvests had it not been for the severe drought More than 80 percent of the country received below normal rainfall. A total 1 728 897 hectares had been put under maize and other cereals. “Ordinarily this would have guaranteed a bountiful harvest. “Further worsening the situation characterised by poor rainfall was the outbreak of fall armyworm across the country,” he said. Last year’s report of the Zimbabwe Livelihoods Assessment Committee found that about 2,7 million people then were expected to be food insecure from April last year until the end of last month, and these are the people who had already been receiving food aid from stocks accumulated from surpluses of past seasons. More people would now need assistance, hence the emergency measures required. Normally Zimbabwe could feed itself with surpluses built up in food stocks owing to multi-pronged agricultural and food systems strategies . The strategic grain reserve, that is grain not needed for ordinary commercial use, currently held 145 604 tonnes of maize, and 43 964 tonnes of traditional grain, with 138 905 tonnes of surplus wheat set to be allocated for the strategic grain reserve to give a combined 356 000 tonnes of cereals. With 868 273 tonnes expected from this season’s harvests the country faced food cereal deficit of nearly 680 000 tonnes of grain. This deficit would have to be bridged by imports, with the private sector expected to import its share of the needs, said President Mnangagwa. “Top on our priority is securing food for all Zimbabweans. No Zimbabwean must succumb to or die from hunger. Adequate resources will therefore, be mobilised and redirected towards national food security, including through supplementary grain imports,” he said. “All available grain in the country will be secured through competitive prices and prompt payment towards encouraging farmers to release and sell available grain, including to the Grain Marketing Board. A robust and responsive mechanism has been put in place to guarantee that food reaches needy communities timely.” The winter wheat crop programme for 2024 now assumed greater importance and urgency as there was need to expand the hectarage. Therefore, winter wheat maize projects in areas such as Chiredzi, Muzarabani and Binga needed to be reactivated towards drought mitigation. Furthermore, the agriculture mechanisation and modernisation programme would continue until the majority of small-holder farmers upgrade their operations, in line with the ongoing rural development agenda. Government would continue rolling out measures to ensure drinking water was adequate for both people and livestock, and more boreholes would be drilled under the Presidential Borehole Drilling Programme to ensure adequate and safe water. Responding to questions, President Mnangagwa said while current infrastructure projects were going on unpeturbed, there was a likelihood of diverting some of the funds to procure food should that need arise. “The projects have not been affected. They are still ongoing, but there is a possibility that as we move on, and as the impact of drought weighs on us, we may consider diverting some of the resources to mitigate the impact of drought,” he said. President Mnangagwa said Government would not export any food for now and was infact looking forward to importing from South Africa which has some surpluses. “In South Africa they usually have huge surplus but they have a small surplus this season. We will hear from them. We believe they might sell us that small surplus,” he said. Zimbabwe, he said, had a lot to learn from other countries such as Russia with vast experience in irrigation farming

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Dry weekend for Harare

By Talent Hwari The Harare City Council says it is carrying out repair works at its Warren Control Pump station to Alexandra Park reservoirs over the weekend which will lead to a dry weekend for residents in the affected areas. In a statement the council’s Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango implored residents to use available water sparingly. He said areas that will be affected by the maintenance works include Belvedere, Milton Park, Central Bussiness Centre, Avenues, Parirenyatwa Hospitals, Dzivarasekwa, Tynwald, Mabereign, Malborough, Westlea and all Northern suburbs. He added that all other suburbs will access water as per current water demand management schedule.

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