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There’s no room for procrastination - Zimbabwe Today
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There’s no room for procrastination

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The old adage that the best time to ride an elephant is when it is still sleeping best describes how investors should relate to Zimbabwe, as the country seeks solutions to walk out of depressed economic conditions that are a result of over 20 years of disinvestment.

The economy took over two decades of heavy battering from some illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and her allies, and the failure by the previous administration led by Mr Robert Mugabe to deal with corruption did not help the situation.

Zimbabwe is re-awakening, thanks to policies put in place by President Mnangagwa’s administration.

Kudos, therefore, should go to some investors that have sacrificed billions of dollars to invest in Zimbabwe at a time things are just beginning to shape up.

Under mounting challenges that still exist, and with the support of steadfast international partners, Zimbabwe’s economy has not collapsed and promises abound of a brighter and prosperous country.

The current wave of ground-breaking ceremonies of mega national economic projects is testimony to Government’s determination to implement policies that create jobs, facilitate economic growth that will have far-reaching consequences on people’s living standards.

Notable mega projects so far are; Karo Resources’ $4,2 billion platinum project in Mhondoro, Africa Chrome Fields ($1 billion) in the Midlands, Stainless Steel ($1 billion) and Hwange 7 and 8 expansion project ($1,5 billion).

The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA), the country’s premier investment promotion body, says investment approvals of $16 billion were recorded between January and June 2018, something that has not been witnessed in Zimbabwe in recent years.

These are deals that are likely to materialise soon and as Zimbabwe, there is a greater need to give these investors better and favourable deals such as tax concessions for coming into the country at a time when others are still procrastinating.

The most intriguing development is these investors are funding or starting businesses in key economic enablers such as energy, transport infrastructure, public transport systems, mining and agriculture.

Those investors still pondering on their next move, the message is “come now because sooner or later barriers to entry into Zimbabwe’s economy, as well as the stakes will be so high and scheming prices will be at play”.

Ground-breaking the Mhondoro-Ngezi Karo Resources project, west of Harare, on Tuesday, President Mnangagwa said the events demonstrated a “new sense of urgency” on the part of his Government to facilitate investments that unlock jobs and foster rapid economic growth.

The project – expected to create 15 000 jobs directly and 75 000 indirectly – will consist of several mines, concentrators, smelters, platinum group and base metals refineries.

Karo will also build a 300-megawatt solar plant to largely power its operations.

The ground-breaking ceremony comes only a month after President Mnangagwa commissioned the reopening of Eureka Gold Mine in Guruve and Shabani-Mashava Mines in Mashava and Zvishavane, expected to create a combined 9 000 jobs.

Some of the projects whose ground-breaking President Mnangagwa also recently officiated include the $1,2 billion expansion of Hwange Thermal Station, expected to directly create about 3 000 jobs, the modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post and the expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

What people need to understand is that inasmuch as the new projects will bring in billions of dollars into the country in the form of Foreign Direct Investment, the money is expected to come in tranches.

Besides, the jobs to be created will come in prescribed figures until the companies realise their full capacity in the long run and until the economy gains traction.

The US dollar shortages in the market are expected to be addressed soon, as investments continue to trickle in and industries move towards full throttle production.

But the early birds are always set to benefit – invest in Zimbabwe now or face the tight competition expected soon as the country becomes the darling of international capital once again.

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