KWEKWE — Econet chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni will on Friday officially open Kwekwe’s fourth premier business showcase Kwekwe Expo which kicks off tomorrow.
Information obtained by Southern Eye Business yesterday indicates that Mboweni would start the programme by addressing a business conference at a local hotel where he is expected to interact with over 50 companies that would be exhibiting at the business showpiece.
The Kwekwe Expo is being held at the Mining Museum exhibition hall from September 26 to 28 under the theme “Building Sustainable Partnerships for Growth”.
Some of the big firms that will be exhibiting include mining giant Zimasco, communications leader Econet and Sable Chemicals.
The Kwekwe Publicity Association (KPA), charged with hosting the exhibition, said the business showcase continues to grow each year attracting leaders in commerce and industry.
“This has now become a premier business showcase for the Kwekwe community and each year we continue to attract top performing companies on the bourse to take up space and network with the business community. We are now looking to invite international companies to come here,” KPA chairperson Eric Musesengwe said.
Businesses inKwekwe, one of Zimbabwe’s industrial and mining hubs, is facing serious viability challenges coupled with the collapse of steel giant Ziscosteel.
Plans to resuscitate the steel giant in a $750 million takeover deal between government and Essar Africa Holdings have been dogged by controversy. The deal failed to kick off during the five-year lifespan of the coalition government.
It is understood there are plans to fast-track the deal under President Robert Mugabe’s new administration after Zanu PF controversially won the July 31 polls.
Sable Chemicals has over the years been one of the biggest employers in the Midlands town taking on board over a 1000 workers, but is also facing viability challenges and has been forced to whittle down its workforce to less than 500 workers.
Musesengwe said Kwekwe Expo provides the link to sustainable partnerships with the government, international investors and other market players so that the mining town can be saved.
“We need to stand as a community and bring big business through this expo and unless we do that our town risks turning into a flea market and place of unemployment,” he said.
Econet, according to KPA, embodies the spirit of sustainable growth and Mboweni will be expected to share the secrets of the company’s strength even in light of the economic challenges besetting business in the country.