In a room full of Africa’s leading business executives and leaders, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa made the case for why, after years of economic stagnation under Robert Mugabe, investors should pay attention to his country. His pitch was simple: He’s not Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa’s speech about Zimbabwe’s economic recovery plan on March 26 at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan lasted just 15 minutes. However, it was packed with references to Zimbabwe now being “open for business”. This is in contrast to the regime of his controversial predecessor.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa presents Zimbabwe’s “current quest to engage and re-engage with the family of nations following years of isolation due to the illegal economic sanctions.” According to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his administration’s top priority is the “resuscitation and revival of the economy and re-engagement of the international community.”
One way he plans to achieve that goal is to “eliminate all investment restrictions”. This is a departure from Mugabe’s usually antagonistic stance towards investors. The president also insisted that presidential elections in July will now be free and fair.
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