By Nqobani Ndlovu
The ruling Zanu PF party on Friday won a gold medal for having the second best stand at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo dominated by government departments and other State agencies.
The ruling party was named second best exhibitor after the Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development ministry.
The outstanding exhibition in the small-to-medium enterprises category also went to Zanu PF, where the ruling party was showcasing projects under its SME’s sector.
Other entities that won awards at the ZITF include Glytime Foods as a first-time exhibitor, Premier Services Medical Aid Society, Treger Products and TelOne. The trade exhibition began on Tuesday and ended yesterday.
However, while Zanu PF was rejoicing for clinching the award, there have been questions on the quality of exhibitions, where some exhibitors failed to even repaint or refurbish properties they occupied during the country’s annual trade showcase.
This year’s ZITF saw a number of universities, government agencies and departments occupying huge exhibition spaces compared to private local and foreign companies.
Critics have said the failure of local and foreign entities to exhibit at the ZITF 2021 edition mirrors the poor state of the economy where companies are struggling to stay afloat.
“It’s understandable to reminisce and be nostalgic about now-defunct local companies that used to exhibit at ZITF in years gone by. Those were the good, old days,” Philani Moyo, the director of Fort Hare Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Fort Hare, South Africa, said.
“We all know the economic and political circumstances have massively changed over the years with various implications, but, my question is, does our generation lack innovators, creative and industrialists?” he equipped.
“Doesn’t the current economic and political situation (others call it a crisis) present opportunities for innovators and industrialists? What socio-economic problems can be solved by a new generation of innovators and industrialists in the current
This year’s ZITF also saw a drop in the number of countries exhibiting at the ZITF, from as high as 17 recorded in 2019 to the current 10. NewsDay