neurs, are participating at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
Once one of the premier events on southern Africa’s commercial calendar, the ZITF has lost its glamour after six years of an acute economic crisis that set in after the International Monetary Fund cut financial assistance to Harare in 1999 and picked up pace after President Robert Mugabe began seizing white farms the following year.
The farm seizures destabilised the mainstay agriculture sector, causing an estimated 60 percent drop in food production to leave Zimbabwe dependent on food handouts from international donors.
In dramatic illustration of how far the ZITF has fallen, chairman Nhlanhla Masuku said the highlight of this year’s edition would be the return of livestock for exhibition at the fair.
Livestock have not been exhibited in recent fairs because of disruptions in the farming sector caused by land invasions by militant supporters of Mugabe who also slaughtered most of the animals left on farms by fleeing whites.
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's 47th trade fair opened this week with only a dozen foreign companies exhibiting and none of them from the major American and European Union economies.
A total of 369 local companies, a huge number of them small-scale businesses operated by indigenous black entrepre