Journalists should strive to tell a positive Zimbabwean story by highlighting the growth of the diamond industry to enhance the development of the economy, a senior government official has said.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Misheck Mugadza said this while officially opening a two-day workshop for journalists in Mutare yesterday.
The workshop was organised by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists to equip the media and help achieve informative and responsible reporting of the diamond sector.
The ZCDC is wholly-owned by government and is mining gems in Chiadzwa.
‘‘The media plays a very important role in any economy as it shapes public perception and enables the government to effectively communicate policies, strategies and programmes that are meant to develop the economy,” Mugadza said.
‘‘I am excited to have your listening ear as I am very much aware of the crucial role that you play in the shaping up of Brand Zimbabwe. A negative perception about our country minimises the value that we derive from our natural resources.”
Zimbabwe has more than 60 known mineral resources and ManicaIand province boasts of some of them.
“Apart from being the hub of our precious gems, diamonds, Manicaland province is also endowed with lithium, gold, tantalite, copper, iron and marble, among many others.
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“As a province, diamond mining is part of our strategic development plan to lead transformation of Manicaland and Zimbabwe at large,” he said.
Mugadza said mining companies were also contributing towards the provincial gross domestic product.
“To date, I am proud that our State miner, ZCDC, has not only created employment for the people of Manicaland province, but is also investing in various corporate social responsibility programmes to give back to the community and to support our national agenda of economic development,” he said.
The two-day workshop is being held under the theme Equipping the media to achieve informative and responsible diamond mining reporting.
At least 40 local and international journalists are attending the workshop.