By Alois Vinga
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has invited investors who graced the recently held Africa Development Bank (AfDB) organised event to tap into the country’s agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors among others.
The event- Africa Investment Forum Market Days- is a high level continental market place championing the closure of the continent’s investment gaps. It operates as a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals.
The AfDB president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina is also currently serving as the country’s arrears clearance strategy and debt resolution champion among international financial institutions and bilateral creditors.
Speaking at the 2022 edition in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Mnangagwa guaranteed safety for all prospective investors.
“The focus is to persuade global capital assembled in this city to realize that there are opportunities for investment in Zimbabwe. Our mission here is to explain ourselves, assuring investors that Zimbabwe is a safe investment destination,” he said.
The call comes at a time when aggressive economic reforms which have begun to ease inflation and boost foreign currency inflows stand an opportunity for investors to easily repatriate their earnings.
The Southern Africa nation has the capacity to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
Currently, a major exporter of wheat, tobacco and corn to the 14-member Southern African Development Community, to other African countries and the wider world before 2000, saw its exports plummet.
Before 2000, farming accounted for 40% of all Zimbabwe’s exports. In 2010 though, it dropped to 2%, therefore providing lucrative opportunities for investments in the area.
Industry and Commerce Minister Sekai Nzenza told delegates at the forum that the country is focusing on mining, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, such as producing cotton and lithium batteries.
“Zimbabwe is open for business. The key words are value addition. We have been exporting raw materials. We must manufacture,” she said.
Agriculture Minister, Anxious Masuka said the biggest opportunity was the land reform program which Zimbabwe had embarked on and underscored the government has put agriculture at the top of its agenda.
Other business people who made it to the event include Marjorie Mayida, managing director of Zimbabwe’s leading insurance company, Old Mutual, George Manyere, managing director of Brainworks, a Zimbabwean company listed on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges.
Kalpesh Patel, managing director of SteelMakers Group of Companies and Peggy Mapondera, an investment principal at Masawara PLC, a Pan-African diversified investment holding group also attended the forum.