Story by Diplomatic Correspondent, Josephine Mugiyo
THE Zimbabwean delegation to the US -AFRICA summit has taken Zimbabwe’s open-for-business mantra to Washington DC, where they are meeting prospective investors on the sidelines of the conference.
For the next three days, US President Joe Biden is hosting African leaders represented at various levels of government for a meeting that seeks to increase cooperation between the United States and African countries.
The Zimbabwean delegation is also taking the opportunity to meet prospective investors, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Frederick Shava holding talks with a representative from a solar energy company, Recovered Energy Resources, Mr Bradley Schneider.
“We want to bring to Zimbabwe a solar manufacturing plant, instead of bringing products that are already manufactured. We have a new technology that produces small panels which are just as efficient as the big ones. We will do ten sites across the country and we will put that into the national grid,” said Mr Schneider.
Minister Shava said they invited the solar energy company to work with the country’s tertiary institutions in the manufacturing of solar panels.
“We are interested in green energy as we keep up with climate change. We have welcomed him to work with our universities on solar technologies. We have also told him we have the main provider which is ZESA and that he can choose to work with other stakeholders,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s top envoy to the United States, Ambassador Tadeous Chifamba emphasised the importance of the country’s participation at the summit, adding that there is growing interest by US companies to explore business opportunities in Zimbabwe.
“You may be aware that the US recently established the American chamber of commerce in Zimbabwe which is the vehicle through which they facilitate and try to encourage US companies to come to Zimbabwe. There is a lot of interest in the mining, and agriculture sectors.”
The three-day summit will see the leaders discussing issues that include the climate crisis, food security, and investment opportunities in Africa.
Meanwhile, the United States has removed 17 individuals from the Zimbabwe sanctions list and added four more amid growing global calls for the illegal embargo to be lifted.