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King Mswati Opens Zim Exhibition

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – One of Africa’s modern monarchs, King Mswati III of the Kingdom of
ESwatini on Friday officially opened the 63rd edition of Zimbabwe’s
annual prime trade exhibition, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
for the second time in his reign after officiating at the expo when he
was 27 years old in 1995.

The King, criticized by human rights activists for banning political
parties and discriminating against women, officiated at the 6th
edition of Transform Africa Summit in Victoria Falls on Wednesday,
before flying to Harare on Thursday where a state banquet was held for
him at the State House.

On Friday morning he flew to Bulawayo, City of Kings and Queens and
Zimbabwe’s second biggest city where he literally reconnected with
historically close kinsmen as the Ndebele and Swati people have routes
in Zululand.

Bulawayo is a highly cultural city.
The King started by inspecting a guard of honour, before delivering a
speech at the ZITF Exhibition Centre in which he praised President
Mnangagwa’s government for being a pacesetter in Africa in terms of
economic transformation.

“Zimbabwe is one of the resilient economies in Africa and should be a
case study of how African states can devise their own development
solutions,” said King Mswati.

He said when a country prospers, neighbours also benefit from ripple effects.

“ZITF is a platform for business to thrive and facilitate a good
platform for the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
We need to liberalise trade across Africa and facilitation free
movement of people as a key enabler,” he said.

King Mswati said he was impressed by developments that had taken place
in Zimbabwe since his last visit in 1995.

The fair is being held under the theme: “Transformative innovation,
Global Competitiveness.”

Thousands of people including exhibitors, businesspersons and ordinary
citizens thronged the exhibition centre to witness the official

The prime exhibition began on Tuesday and Friday was a public day when
members of the public are traditionally allowed entry.

There was a 30 percent increase in foreign exhibitors this year which
President Mnangagwa said was a result of his policy of engagement and
reengagement which had thawed relations with the West.

“People get excited by sanctions but numbers are increasing. Americans
are here, British are here and EU is here. The reengagement is paying
fruits,” he said.


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