International engagement key to recovery

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RENEWED engagement with the international community and the move by the European Union to suspend sanctions against most Zimbabwean officials and some state-linked firms could help the economy to recover quickly, a leading pan-African investment group has said.
After gradually easing the embargo annually since 2010, the EU suspended sanctions on eight of Zimbabwe’s most powerful military and political figures in February this year, but kept them on President Robert Mugabe, his wife and a state military firm.
The bloc, along with the United States, imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 in protest at alleged human rights violations and vote rigging by President Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
Imara Edwards Zimbabwe executive director Tino Kambasha said timing factors suggest that the country was now at a stage where private investors must take a closer look.
The EU last year lifted sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), a government mining arm, which has allowed it to auction its diamonds in Europe and Dubai. The bloc will also resume channelling development aid directly to the Zimbabwe government from 2015.
In addition, the IMF will reopen its local office later this year, a decade after its closure, signalling the warming of relations, Kambasha said.
Apart from the EU, Zimbabwe was attracting interest from South African and Asian investors, he added.
“We may have a soft market currently, but interest is firm,” Kambasha said in a statement to announce Imara’s annual investment conference that will be held from 27-30 May in Harare.Advertisement