NEW mines and mining development minister, Walter Chidhakwa, has said Zimbabwe’s economy recovery would be “faster” if investment proposals were processed with a sense of urgency.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe Mining Indaba which opened on Wednesday, Chidhakwa said government needed to shorten the timeframe within which investments into the country are processed.
“The speed at which an investment can be established has become as important a determinant for investment inflows if not more important than any other circumstance,” he said.
The mining sector is poised to anchor economic growth over the next few years as the industry holds huge potential for economic development
During his inauguration speech for another five year term in office following the July 31 elections, President Robert Mugabe said the sector would be the “centrepiece” of Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and growth.
“The ability to process investments in record time ability from day one up to the day of production should be shortened Chidhakwa said there was need to revolutionalise the systems to smoothen the process of investing in the country,” Chidhakwa said.
Zimbabwe’s mining industry is at a critical juncture, where it needs to put long-term plans to yield high returns on investment and raise the necessary funds to achieve such plans.
“Investor friendly policies must recognise that in this highly competitive investment environment predictable and sustainable macroeconomic fundamentals are an important prerequisite for attracting investment.”
He said Zimbabwe needed to identify what needs to be done to ensure the processes of extraction are efficient.
“This will enable us to increase production volumes and thus tap into more of our resource than is presently being done,” he said.
He said although the outlook for the sector looked bright the unavailability of adequate power and water supplies and pitiable road and rail networks continue to be major impediments to potential growth targets.
“My first engagement as a minister was meeting the Energy Minister to discuss on how we could find a common vision to supply power to the sector which requires much energy,” he said.
“It stands to reason therefore that Ziscosteel must be resuscitated for the benefit of Zimbabweans. I am aware that the minister of Industry and commerce is determined to make this a matter of urgency,” he said.Advertisement
According to mines lobby group, the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, the country’s mining sector requires between US$5 billion and US$7 billion to retool over five years.