The resurgence of the economy of Zimbabwe must hinge On her abundant mineral resources, skilled human resources, and of course, fertile land for agriculture. The country no doubt has undergone over 3 decades of economic ousting due to the political turmoil that has strangulated her under the leadership of former President Robert Mugabe. But, News Splash: It is a New Dawn for Zimbabwe, the one-time Food Basket of Africa!
This is the message from the new government under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. President Mnangagwa, a seasoned lawyer, believes he can use his negotiating prowess to return the country into enjoying her rich resources and attracting investors to collaborate with his effort by renewing his declarations at The World Economic Forum held in Davos this year. He said loud and clear: “Zimbabwe is opened for business”.
It is a known fact that most of Zimbabwe’s GDP comes from the mining sector. Fot a country endowed with over 70 different Mineral resources of economic quantity, but only 10 being tapped, there is, understandably, a huge hunger by government to showcase and ensure the wealth of her mineral resources are tapped into by new investors on the one hand, and that current investors expand their scope and capacity while enjoying a brand new and safe environment. This is high priority for President Mnangagwa and his administration. Then the recent discovery of Platinum and Diamonds has set a global stage to position Zimbabwe economically to where it belongs.
It is of paramount importance that investors respect the global principle of indigenisation, so that the people are not impoverished by being taken advantage of. Africa is not a poor continent, but investors have in the past taken advantage of Africans. In the new dispensation, investors must respect the indigenisation policies of their host African countries. And this is the standard Zimbabwe is setting at the moment. In addition, Investors should aim at improving basic Socio-Economic amenities in Health, Education, and skills transfer.
Another important fact for the continent to bear in mind, particularly Zimbabwe in her present transition is our resources are not only needed in the African market, they are highly needed in the Asian and European markets. Deliberations are still on-going in respect to the indigenisation policies and laws. Thus, 51/49% proposed shareholding between Investors and locals respectively is perceived by the legislature and some business people as too stringent on the investors: it will affect production and the pace to recover economically. More lenient shareholding of 60/40% or even 70/30% shareholding should be considered. Such a ratio, it is believed, would boost the Investors appetite, and interests to bring robust investment capital and capacity. The committee on Mines and Energy have an ongoing engagement with stakeholders to determine what will be a win-win situation in Zimbabwe. However, government is determined to ensure that the region is safe, and policies are consistent and investor-friendly. But definitely not at the expense of her people.
President Mnangagwe and his administration have undertaken the task of making sure investors are protected, and the locals not (). He is going round countries that have abandoned Zimbabwe to re-echo the fact that Zimbabwe is no more under a political turmoil, and that while she’s not politically unfocused, she’s much more seriously economically attentive. This charge started in Davos, and has ignited a recent visit in early April to China where mega deals are being signed. The Power Wange 7, a new 150 megawatts power station has just been reopened. The President has reached out to the British to renew their relationship and get back to the Commonwealth. The EU is relating to the country. One very critical issue is that the whole world is looking to see if the President will keep his word come 2019, that Zimbabwe is going to conduct a free, fair and credible election, void of any violence. Meanwhile, we have began to see in Zimbabwe other political parties starting their campaigns without any form of intimidation by the ruling party/or government. That was the case under Robert Mugabe.
Within the short space of time that the new government came on board, Zimbabwe has started to pick up. There is a steady influx of tourists. New hotels and restaurants are being built around the popular Victoria Falls to meet increased demand.
With all the evident green lights, it is paramount that Zimbabwean leaders, and indeed African leaders as a whole, speak with a new voice, and fight a true and transparent war against corruption. The sincere collective war against corruption is the sure way to re-brand the continent that has been labelled the “Dark Continent” into the “AFRI-CAN Continent”. All African leaders should emulate President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who has brought such massive progress to his country that the people are clamoring for a 3rd term in office for President Kagame. We are not by this encouraging sit-tight syndrome! We only emphasize that African countries long for corrupt-free countries like Rwanda, Ethiopia and Botswana. Let other African leaders follow suit.
It is high time African leaders invest in their young people. Considering the huge presence of African human resources in multinational companies around the world, there’s no doubt that Africa is blessed and endowed with intellectual men and women that can be great leaders in their countries. Africans in diaspora should be encouraged to come back home and make Africa great.
Following the good fight of Great African leaders like Kwame Nkruma, Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, and many more that have sacrificed their lives to making sure Africa is liberated politically, it is time for African young leaders to start fighting a different fight of economic emancipation of her people and destroy the scourge of poverty in Africa. Africa is not a poor continent, her people should not remain poor.
Lastly, I sympathize with the families of Winnie Madikizele- Mandela who passed away recently. However, she left her legacy, her voice and her warm heart for the black race. May her soul rest in power. Her struggle most not be abandoned.