Ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion to take cen­tre stage at Mine En­tra expo

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Busi­ness Re­porter

HAR­NESS­ING value ad­di­tion and ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties will take cen­tre stage at the forth­com­ing Min­ing Engi­neer­ing and Trans­port (Mine En­tra) Ex­hi­bi­tion to be hosted by Bu­l­awayo at the Zimbabwe In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre next week.

Ac­cord­ing to or­gan­is­ers, the Zimbabwe In­ter­na­tional Trade Fair (ZITF) Com­pany, 218 di­rect ex­hibitors have booked ex­hi­bi­tion space to date, which com­pares favourably to last year’s clos­ing to­tal of 153 di­rect ex­hibitors, rep­re­sent­ing a 42 per­cent in­crease.

As the coun­try moves to adopt strate­gies to catal­yse eco­nomic growth, hopes are high that the spe­cialised expo, which is in its 23rd edi­tion, will fo­cus on ad­vanc­ing in­clu­siv­ity in the min­ing value chain, seen as a crit­i­cal pil­lar in the econ­omy.

This thrust is borne out of the be­lief that Zimbabwe’s rich min­eral en­dow­ment can be the cor­ner­stone of not only a grow­ing econ­omy, but also a fair and in­clu­sive econ­omy that ex­tends op­por­tu­ni­ties to its en­tire peo­ple, ZITF Com­pany mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions man­ager, Ms Stella Nkomo, said.

To fur­ther this agenda, she said, this year’s Mine En­tra will fea­ture sev­eral tar­geted knowl­edge­shar­ing and net­work­ing plat­forms de­voted to in­spir­ing a di­verse pop­u­la­tion – es­pe­cially women and young pro­fes­sion­als – to tap into the la­tent op­por­tu­ni­ties and forge a brighter fu­ture within the min­ing in­dus­try. Ms Nkomo said the Mine En­tra 2018 Con­fer­ence next Thurs­day would an­chor the na­tional vi­sion for the sec­tor and usher in “an era of real in­clu­sion and growth”.

“Mines and Min­ing Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter, Win­ston Chi­tando, will de­liver a key-note ad­dress that high­lights Gov­ern­ment’s vi­sion for un­lock­ing the value of the ex­trac­tive in­dus­try to catal­yse eco­nomic growth and so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment,” said Ms Nkomo.

Del­e­gates will have an op­por­tu­nity to frankly de­lib­er­ate on op­por­tu­ni­ties and threats aris­ing from the dif­fer­ent en­abling sec­tors in the min­ing value chain and prof­fer pos­si­ble so­lu­tions. Ac­cord­ing to the ZITF Com­pany, Min­is­ters of In­dus­try and Com­merce (Man­gal­iso Ndlovu), Dr Jo­ram Gumbo (En­ergy and Power Devel­op­ment), Joel Big­gie Ma­tiza (Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural Devel­op­ment) and high level rep­re­sen­ta­tion from Trea­sury, have con­firmed their par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Among the key high­lights of the event would be the Women in Min­ing Con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day (10th of Oc­to­ber), to be opened by Min­is­ter Sithem­biso Ny­oni. Other key speak­ers would be drawn from pri­vate sec­tor play­ers in the bank­ing, academia, small scale min­ing, sup­pli­ers and reg­u­la­tors. More than 150 del­e­gates are ex­pected to take part as new in­dus­try play­ers and sea­soned vet­er­ans present stud­ies and sto­ries about how they opened doors, over­came chal­lenges and cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties for them­selves and oth­ers in the min­ing in­dus­try.

Mean­while, Ms Nkomo said prepa­ra­tions for the ex­hi­bi­tion were on track with ex­hi­bi­tion book­ings still com­ing in steadily. “Cur­rently the ex­hi­bi­tion is sit­ting at 7 538sqm of space sold, com­pared to 4 414sqm sold at last year’s show. The space sales rep­re­sent 93 per­cent of space made avail­able for sale and a 70 per­cent in­crease from last year’s space oc­cu­pancy,” she said.

“Based on an over­whelm­ing in­ter­est in the event, sup­ple­men­tary ex­hi­bi­tion space has been availed with an ad­di­tional ex­hi­bi­tion hall be­ing opened and more ex­ter­nal sites be­ing put to use.”

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