A business forum, Zimdaba has concluded its 2-day conference with participants optimistic about the revitalisation of the economy and restoration of Zimbabwe as the breadbasket of Africa
Business leaders and government officials gathered at the Royal Geographical Society in London, UK to discuss social and economic reforms and real investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Winston Chitando who attended the conference, reiterated that the country’s mining sector is rich in mineral resources and required, not only skills and human capital, but also business leaders willing to uncover its true potential with adequate financial capital.
He also highlighted that during last year’s inaugural Zimdaba, the government made some promises which have since been fulfilled, demonstrating its commitment to the reform agenda to unlock true value for Zimbabwe and investing partners alike.
“There are opportunities for infrastructure and for mining related activities but the government is aware and understands that in order for investment to flow, the environment itself needs to be conducive,” said Cde Chitando.
He added that a strategic plan is currently being put in place and specific policies have been drawn up to solidify the country’s mineral development plan and this includes, among others, a diamond development policy.
ZimTrade Chief Executive, Allan Majuru said that Zimbabwe is the hub of southern Africa and that now is the time for the diaspora to invest and do business there.
“We are a land-linked country but we need investment in the necessary support infrastructure like rail, roads and air,” he said.
There have also been several success stories that are beginning to boost the oil, farming and agricultural sectors.
Ankit Jain, CEO of Raha Cooking Oil outlined how in the last few years, with the support of the government to create policy for the cooking oil industry, over 2000 jobs have been created; and a sector that was down 20% in production capacity is now three times over the capacity, with five major operational plants meeting the demand of the country.
Chairman for Consolidated Africa Services, Edward Holme urged the investor community to explore opportunities in Zimbabwe.
“We believe in a bright future in Zimbabwe and we are prepared to keep our shoulders to the wheel to contribute, in our small way, to the overall effort of driving policy and economic reform, so walk the ground, see for yourselves, join us,” he said.
Key panel discussions made up part of the overall conference agenda and members from the government and private sector outlined their success stories and plans to boost Zimbabwe’s economy through investment in tourism and Special Economic Zones (SEZ)