Kudakwashe Mugari in Sochi City, Russia
Zimbabwe and Russia should work closely to promote economic trade co-operation and cement political ties that date back to the liberation struggle.
President Mnangagwa made this call during an interview with SPUTNIK Russian News Agency here yesterday ahead of the Russia-Africa Summit that kicks off today.
President Mnangagwa is expected to join about 46 other African Heads of State and Government at the summit which is expected to unlock economic benefits for the country.
The inaugural summit opens today and will be co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and African Union chairman, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt.
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe should build on its strong ties with Russia whose fruits include political independence and economic cooperation.
“This is the first meeting of the Russian Federation and the entire African continent. Russia assisted us to gain independence and this time around we are here to promote economic trade cooperation between our two countries and this is the way to go,” he said.
“During my last visit I had a long discussion with President Putin and we agreed that we must improve on economic co-operation. In my country there are many opportunities for Russian investors and they are welcome to invest.
“So far we have several companies that have come to invest in the mining sector. We already have Alrosa mining company that has established an office and done exploration now ready to do the mining. Russian companies interested in mining gold have also done their exploration.
“Thirdly, we also have a Russian mining company that has come to mine platinum and we are happy that we have more and more Russian companies interested in doing business with us.”
President Mnangagwa also said he was hoping to meet President Putin on the sidelines of the summit to discuss more economic prospects if the opportunity avails itself.
“If we have the opportunity of meeting President Putin, we will again interrogate that preliminary meeting we had in January and see how much we have achieved and chart the way forward for our countries,” the President said.
The summit will start with the Russia-Africa Economic Forum, which will be attended by President Mnangagwa and other African Heads of State and Government representatives from Russia and African states, international businesses, government agencies.
Deliberations will focus on three thematic pillars, forging economic ties, creating joint projects, and collaborating in the humanitarian and social sector.
Other key issues are the establishment of a Russia-Africa Partnership Forum to coordinate the development of the Russia-African relations.