The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is set to officiate at this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and the Bulawayo Arts Festival, it has been revealed.
The 61st edition of the ZITF will run from 20- 23 July under the theme: “The New Normal for Business and Industry: Realities and Opportunities.”
Last year, the trade showcase was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa on Wednesday revealed that the President is set to officially open the ZITF which has so far attracted nine countries.
“As at 20 May 2021, 46 309 square metres out of 49 877 square metres exhibition space available for booking had been taken up. 395 companies have expressed interest to exhibit at ZITF 2021, 94 of which are leaseholders and 52 are new exhibitors. A total of nine countries have confirmed their participation at the Fair, while engagements with other nations are ongoing.
“Cabinet is pleased to announce that the ZITF 61st Edition will be officially opened by His Excellency the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa, on Thursday, 22 July 2021,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
In terms of exhibitors’ profile, Minister Mutsvangwa said it is varied, with a range of products and services including the following: agricultural implements and equipment; automotive products; building and construction; clothing and textile; food product manufacturing and processing; tourism business products and services; information communication technology; pharmaceuticals and chemicals; and mining equipment.
The Minister noted that the highlights of the main activities at ZITF 2021 include the official opening, International Business Conference on 21 July 2021, the Zim-Diplomats Forum; and the ZITF Innovators’ Forum.
“Pleasing to note is that 105 participants have registered to participate at the International Business Conference, with 52 having already paid. The Zim-Diplomats Forum will be hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) and is aimed at engaging locally-based foreign diplomats on Government’s ongoing measures to facilitate investment. This is the first time that the forum is being hosted at the ZITF,” she said.
Turning to the Bulawayo Arts Festival, Minister Mutsvangwa said this year the festival will play host to the Bulawayo Urban Heritage and Eco-Tourism Programme and the Creative and Cultural Industries Conference.
“Cabinet advises that the inaugural Bulawayo Arts Festival was digitally launched in 2020, reaching audiences in 45 countries. This year’s Festival is scheduled to be held from 2 to 5 June, 2021. The main festival, which will largely remain digital due to COVID-19 control measures, will feature two main high-profile programmes, namely: the launch of the Bulawayo Urban Heritage and Eco-Tourism Programme (3 June 2021); and the Creative and Cultural Industries Conference (3 – 4 June 2021).
“Government is pleased to announce that His Excellency the President will officiate at the event. This demonstrates the Second Republic’s commitment to the promotion and development of the creative and cultural industry,” she said.