CEO Africa Roundtable roars to life

Oswell Binha

THE CEO Africa Roundtable annual conference begins today in Victoria Falls with a number of key issues to be interrogated, including the economic roadmap for 2023.

CEO Africa Roundtable chief executive officer (CEO) Kipson Gundani said about 250 chief executives were expected at the organisation’s annual conference amid depressed business activity.

The annual conference, which will end on Saturday, will focus on discussions between government and business over macro-economic challenges hampering business activity while also looking for solutions to overcome the obstacles.

The conference comes on the backdrop of the annual inflation rate hovering around 268,8% for October, despite it being down from 280,4% in the previous month. Further, the Zimbabwe dollar continues depreciating against the greenback as it trades for $632,77 and $800 on the official and parallel forex markets, respectively, owing to inadequate foreign currency, lack of market confidence and commodity level support.

“Our key expectation is that the roundtable should be able to generate lots of business from this gathering. Secondly, we are also expecting to share ideas on pertinent macro-economic issues, for example, things like the economic outlook for 2023 so that the CEOs are well-informed. We will also share nuggets on issues to do with cyber security, the future of money, the digitalisation of currencies, and so forth,” Gundani told NewsDay Business.

“We will also tackle issues around agriculture and agribusiness on how we can be self-sufficient. We will also touch on leadership issues, governance issues, particularly, if you look at family-owned businesses in terms of visioning how do we integrate external leaders in such kinds of scenarios. There are obviously many challenges facing companies today. The major challenge is obviously the fragile and unstable macroeconomic environment.”

He said the current economic   headwinds are a challenge for their operations.

“The other challenge is to do with the labour force and the expenditure power. In any economy, if workers are not paid living wages naturally it also affects the expenditure power and this is also true for the civil service, so we obviously see that decreasing demand is a challenge that many companies are facing,” Gundani added.

 Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza; and Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement minister Anxious Masuka are expected to speak at the conference.  Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni will also attend the conference.

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