Fuel usage in Zimbabwe increased by 23 percent between January and April this year, in a development which shows that industrial productivity is increasing.

Speaking at an Africa Financial Services Investment Conference in London recently, top Sakunda Holdings executive Mr Everton Mlalazi said fuel demand increased from about 105 million litres in January to just over 130 million litres in April.

He said the spike in demand shows that local industry is now thriving.

“When we look at the fuel situation as a business, we don’t look at it as a supply side problem, we look at it as a demand driven challenge. What the increase in demand means is that the government has opened up space for business and industry is now working. When you look at the 130 million litres for April, what has increased there is not petrol which everyone uses but it is diesel which suggests that this is fuel for industry,” Mr Mlalazi said.

Held annually in London, the Africa Financial Services Investment Conference is one of Europe’s largest gathering of investors keen to take advantage of opportunities in Africa which is seen as one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

Mr Mlalazi told investors that now is the time to move into Zimbabwe as the country transitions from the first to the second republic.

“As a corporate, I cannot say we are comfortable but we are actually doing very well. We are working with eternal partners who have come in such as Puma and Trafigura. These are companies that have invested in Zimbabwe and they are actually operating profitably,” added Mr Mlalazi.

Zimbabwe’s delegation to the London conference was led by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcastings Services Cde Monica Mutsvangwa.

The minister assured delegates that the government is implementing a raft of reforms to improve Zimbabwe’s attractiveness as a destination for global capital.

Political reforms are also underway to deepen and broaden democracy in the country.