Clemence Manyukwe recently in Harare
GOVERNMENT has started a process to come up with national and provincial hashtags as part of a comprehensive national branding exercise.
#MyZim, mypride; #Africa’sbreadbasket, #greaterZim, #loveZim, #Zimbopride, #tryZim, and #doZim are some of the national hashtags proposed by participants during the national branding update workshop held in Harare last week. Giving an update on the national branding exercise, head of Department of Public Affairs and Knowledge Management in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Ambassador Mary Mubi, said national re-branding will enhance business relationships, increase visitor/tourism arrivals, restore hope for a better future for Zimbabweans, restore investor confidence and thus facilitate economic growth so that Zimbabwe becomes a high to middle-Income country by 2030.
She said Zimbabweans must be involved in the national branding exercise through discussion platforms in the mainstream media, on social media and other platforms. Ambassador Mubi said people must introspect on Zimbabwe’s competitiveness, tell their own stories and find ways that portray Zimbabwe through arts, craft, music, clothes, products, services and culture to contribute to the national branding exercise.
“The Department of Public Affairs and Knowledge Management recognises that nation branding is a process, which must be rooted in the people’s beliefs, aspirations and what is on the ground. Every Zimbabwean must be mobilised to take part and own the process. Therefore, the nation branding country committee has representatives from all the 10 provinces, covering both public and private sector, including associations, academia, artistes, ordinary citizens and those in the diaspora. At national level the committee currently has three main clusters, visit, trade and invest, which may be subject to change, depending on stakeholder views and concerns,” she said.
Ambassador Mubi said progress to date include compilation of concept papers on different stages of the programme; creation of the Multi-Sectorial National, Provincial and District Committees, completion of initial data gathering and development of provincial profiles and provincial websites, among other achievements.
“A strong and unique Brand Zimbabwe will benefit every Zimbabwean, regardless of their social, political or economic standing. Let’s keep in mind that ‘If a nation cannot manage its own national brand creation, someone else will’,” said Ambassador Mubi.
During the workshop, provincial representatives had an opportunity to discuss proposed hashtags for provinces that will be fine tuned before they are adopted. The hashtags are as follows: Bulawayo — #gateway to Zimbabwe’s world class industrial hub; Harare — #the pulse of Zimbabwe; Midlands — #the glowing heart of Zimbabwe and Mashonaland West — #Mashonaland best, the breadbasket of Zimbabwe.
Mashonaland Central — #investment destination # breadbasket; Mashonaland East — #the agricultural hub of Zimbabwe; Matabeleland North — #The heartbeat of Zimbabwe and Matabeleland South — #our rainbow province where we thrive on diversity and Masvingo — #the cradle of Zimbabwe national heritage.
Manicaland proposed the following #VisitManicaland #ExploreManicaland #experienceManicaland. Some participants felt that the provincial hashtags must be revised as they were too long, inward looking and not catchy.