Zim, ECA sign CoM 2024 host country agreement

ECA executive secretary Claver Gatete (left) and Finance,Economic Development & Investment Promotion minister Mthuli Ncube after the signing of the COM 2024 host signing agreement in Harare on Saturday

Zimbabwe and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) signed a host country agreement on Friday which grants the southern African country the nod to host a UN flagship event in Victoria Falls next year.

Zimbabwe is set to host the 56th Session of the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CoM) which runs from February 28 to March 5.

Finance, Economic Development & Investment Promotion minister Mthuli Ncube and ECA executive secretary Claver Gatete signed the 2024 COM host country agreement.

 “To drive industrialisation that is sustainable and creates jobs, eradicates poverty and contributes to sustained economic growth, Africa must build climate resilience, be able to access finance for its development and reap benefits from its natural resources” Gatete said at the signing ceremony.

CoM 2024 will run under the theme, Financing the transition to inclusive green economies in Africa: imperatives, opportunities and policy options.

Gatete said the theme was timely as the continent grapples with multiple crises.CoM 2024 brings together African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, governors of central banks, and entities of the United Nations system.

In addition, it will include the participation of pan-African financial institutions, youth representatives, African academic and research institutions, development partners, intergovernmental organisations and other key stakeholders on an annual basis to engage and exchange views on the state of economic and social developments in Africa.Gatete said the aim was to end the conference with a strengthened focus and invigorated call to action for mobilisation of climate and development finance and the reform of the Global Financial Architecture. Furthermore, the conference will call for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement and the leveraging of technologies for Africa’s development.Ncube noted the advanced state of preparedness of the conference and also highlighted the significance of the event to the country.“This presents an opportunity to enhance the country’s global image as we pursue our engagements and re-engagement drive with the international community” he said.

Zimbabwe will become the second country in southern Africa to host the event in 14 years after Malawi in 2010. In a span of four years, Zimbabwe will host its second UN event, CoM 2024, following the successful sixth session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development held in Victoria Falls in 2020.

Zimbabwe’s hosting of the UN flagship event comes as the country is seeking to grow the tourism sector by tapping into the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibition (MICE) tourism.

The National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy has placed the promotion of MICE tourism as an integral component of the tourism recovery plan.

“The hosting of MICE activities has the potential to bring people and businesses together thereby building trust and boosting confidence in the destination. Engagement will be made with the relevant organisations that had cancelled or postponed scheduled international conferences to have them reconvened in the future,” the document said.

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