Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
MATABELELAND North province has vast natural resources that are waiting to be explored and massive business opportunities are available for investors to consider, the Minister of State for the province, Cde Richard Moyo, has said.
Addressing a delegation from Namibia’s Omaheke province at the Umguza Rural District Council offices yesterday, Minister Moyo said Namibia should consider investing in Zimbabwe, a safe investment destination with vast natural resources.
The delegation led by the Governor of Omaheke region, Mr Festus Tulonga Ueitele, is in Matabeleland North province to tour capital projects as the two provinces prepare to sign memoranda of understanding (MoU) in various economic sectors.
The delegation, also comprising the Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Balbina Daes Piennar, officials from local authorities and Government departments, toured a number of projects in Bubi District.
The Zimbabwean delegation comprised Minister Moyo, the Provincial Development Co-ordinator Ms Latiso Dlamini and heads of Government departments from the province.
They toured a Small Scale Miners Milling Centre at Queens Mine, Siqeduthando Ncube Mine, the Bubi Small Scale Miners Association (BSSMA), Mary Ellen Farm and Imbizo Farm.
Minister Moyo told the Namibian delegation that Zimbabwe was directing all its efforts and energies towards attaining the goals and aspirations of Vision 2030, which seeks to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy.
“Zimbabwe has entered a new era under the servant leadership of President Mnangagwa and in the Second Republic as it is commonly referred to, all investment is welcome and its safety is guaranteed. This twinning initiative comes at a time when as a country we’re directing all our efforts and energies towards attaining the goals and aspirations of Vision 2030, which seeks to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy. I remain hopeful that the twinning of our provinces will avail vast opportunities for our people,” he said.
Minister Moyo said the Government of Zimbabwe was on a drive to attract investment under the “Zimbabwe is open for business mantra” and was inviting Namibia to explore and exploit the business opportunities available in his province.
He added that he was confident that the visit by the Namibian delegation would go a long way in fulfilling President Mnangagwa’s vision of seeking strategic partners.
“I’m hopeful that the proposed twinning of our two provinces will enhance among other things trade between the two countries as both Namibians and Zimbabweans will enjoy cordial business relations and enhance socio economic ties for their mutual benefit.
“We do hope that this becomes the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship between your region and our province. Zimbabwe and Namibia have close historic ties and we share a lot in common in terms of heritage and socio economic conditions,” said Minister Moyo.
He told the Namibian delegation that Matabeleland North was home to the mighty Victoria Falls, which is an international tourist resort and a celebrated historical area and home to the Hwange National Park, the biggest wildlife conservancy in the Southern Africa region.
Ambassador Piennar said she was excited about the twinning of the two provinces, adding that the fruits would be enjoyed by generations to come.
“As I wish the two delegations fruitful engagements, I’m excited about the development. The relationship between Matabeleland North province and Omaheke region is not new. It started years ago and I’m happy that the two have found it important to partner and empower their people,” she said.
Governor Ueitele said the two countries had a lot of similarities which will make the two provinces work together well.
“We’re also facing economic challenges and I’m seeing a lot of similarities between the two countries. We’re keen to see the projects and investment opportunities in this part of Zimbabwe and we’ll be happy to work together in future,” said the Governor.
Today the two delegations will tour projects in Umguza District and proceed to Lupane on Wednesday and Binga and Hwange on Thursday while the last leg of the tour will be in Victoria Falls on Friday.
The two countries recently signed seven bilateral agreements under the 9th Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Permanent Commission on Co-operation (JPCC) where President Mnangagwa and his counterpart, Hage Geingob, undertook to further strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
Relations between Zimbabwe and Namibia date back to the days of the liberation struggle of both countries.
They are also working on promoting Small to Medium Enterprises with particular focus on women, joint trade and economic co-operation, information and media, science and technology development and mutual customs administrative assistance.
Omaheke Province is located in the eastern part of Namibia and has an estimated population of 71 000 and Gobabis is the provincial capital. — @pamelashumba1