The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
AFTER a two-year hiatus, this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) will be open to children under the age of 18 during the premier showcase’s public days slotted for 29 and 30 April.
The 62nd edition of the ZITF will be held from 26 to 30 April under the theme, “Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent Value Chains for Economic Development.” Last year when the trade show returned after being suspended in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic-imposed lockdowns, school children under the age of 18 were barred from the single public day set aside.
However, this year the ZITF Company which has set aside two public days said children under the age 18 years can attend the trade showcase.
“ZITF 2022 will be open to members of the general public (including children under the age of 18) on 29 and 30 April 2022. We invite them to come through and sample the various exhibits on display, learn more about locally produced goods and services and enjoy the myriad entertainment activities put together with the whole family in mind,” said ZITF Company board chairman Mr Busisa Moyo in a statement.
He reassured the nation of their continued commitment to ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all the ZITF 2022 participants and attendees. Mr Moyo said working in conjunction with the relevant health authorities, they were in the process of updating the ZITF 2022 Covid-19 Safety and Risk Management guidelines and were looking forward to apprising their stakeholders nearer to the time of the fair.
Meanwhile, the business networking events set for business days 26 to 28 April include the ZITF International Business Conference (IBC) which will take place on Tuesday 27 April.
“Organised in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF), the country’s biggest commercial assembly will run under the same theme as the exhibition to encourage a frank discussion on our progress towards structural transformation and moving the economy up the value chain in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).”
He said the Vice-President and Minister of Health and Child Care General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga will headline the conference. Mr Moyo said this year they launch the inaugural Connect Africa Symposium, a half-day platform for various African stakeholders to present their research, share experiences, highlight opportunities and discuss possible Pan-African solutions to challenges in areas such as technology, investment and infrastructure development in the continent. He said the high-level event, attracting regional speakers and participants, will take place on Thursday 28 April.
“Rounding up the day and closing off the business days will be the second edition of the ZITF Diplomats Forum, a high-level cocktail-style event focused on strengthening existing relations between Zimbabwe and its international allies by enabling participating diplomats and delegates to discuss trade and investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.”
He said throughout the day, business delegates will be free to take a break from the exhibition floor by attending the ZITF Charity Golf Challenge at the Bulawayo Golf Club. In addition to the business and diplomatic exchanges, Mr Moyo said ZITF 2022 will have platforms especially curated for the youth to delve deep into topics such as education and innovation, examining their current state and determining how best they could be improved for the benefit of future leaders and citizenry.
“The Scholastica Expo will therefore run concurrently with the main trade show bringing together learners, educational experts and career advisors to share information on strategic human capital development for developing a self-sustaining and enterprising economy.
Career guidance sessions and presentations will also run parallel to the expo. The Scholastica Conference will take place on 26 April under the theme ‘Economic Development through Innovation and Heritage: Promoting Talent and Skill-based Education’,” he said.
Mr Moyo said deliberations will centre on a multi-sectoral approach to developing and implementing an education system that encourages an entrepreneurial mind-set, locally developed industrial solutions and heritage-based economy.
He said the ZITF Innovators Forum will take place from 26-27 April under the subtheme, “Innovation for Sustainable Value Chains”.
The annual event, incorporating a pitch competition, hackathon and speaker presentations, will provide young innovators and entrepreneurs a platform to highlight their innovations, network and exchange knowledge with their peers in a bid to revive local industry.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will officially open this year’s event.