Fidelity pins hopes on Zim’s easing sanctions environment

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By Alois Vinga

FIDELITY Life Assurance (FLA) has pinned hopes on the emerging Western stance of easing restrictive measures on Zimbabwe saying such gestures present very positive indications.

On March 4 2024, the U.S. terminated a sanctions program that had been in force since 2003. However, new sanctions were imposed on 11 individuals, including Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, as well as three entities, over alleged involvement in corruption and human rights abuses.

Over the years, the European Union has been softening up the sanctions held on Zimbabwe in a development which saw the bloc removing Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, former first lady Grace Mugabe, and Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Valerio Sibanda from its targeted persons list. Currently, there are no targeted individuals on the list.

Presenting the group’s performance for the period ended December 31 2023, FLA board chairman, Livingstone Gwata hailed the easing sanctions environment.

“The pronouncements by several Western governments indicating some easing of restrictive measures/sanctions on Zimbabwe and their call for foreign businesses and financial institutions to have a new look at Zimbabwe’s markets are causes for optimism.

“Although the proposed reconfigurations fall short of the desired full, unconditional lifting of restrictive measures, it opens an opportunity for further engagement with the global community,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the reporting period, inflation-adjusted insurance contract revenue recorded a strong growth of 242% compared to the prior year from ZWL34.1 billion to ZWL116.6 billion.

Historical cost insurance contract revenue grew by 962% compared to the prior year from ZWL4.6 billion to ZWL48.5 billion. The impressive growth in insurance contract revenue was on the back of the Group’s innovative product development bearing fruits and increased uptake of the company’s products offering on the market.

Significant growth in premium inflows was witnessed through the Vaka Yako product contributing 83% of the Individual life premiums. The Zimbabwe operation contributed 62% (2022:56%) of the premium inflows whilst 38% (2022: 44%) is attributable to the Malawi operation.

“The central government remains committed to the attainment of the Vision 2030 goals under NDS1 and NDS2 through various projects which include among others infrastructure projects in road and dam construction and rehabilitation, as well as irrigation projects.

“This is commendable given aggregate demand created in the value chain and beneficiation in the steel and chrome mining sector,” added Gwata.