africa Elections FDI Opinion Zimbabwe

Opinion: Zimbabwe’s ‘Open For Business’ campaign is restoring investors confidence

Zimbabwe is weeks away from the first elections post-Mugabe era, July 30, citizens will cast their votes for a new leader. The ZANU-PF camp has promised a ‘free and fair’ election, in which international observers have been welcomed to monitor the elections.

In the brief time in power, Mnangagwa has demonstrated ability to lead, and tackle issues facing Zimbabwe. Nelson Chamisa’s charisma has gained him popularity however, his claim that the opposition, MDC-T can solve the cash crisis in 2 weeks is overly ambitious.

Since taking office, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged foreign investors to consider pouring investments into the Zimbabwe economy. He has shown commitment to the revival of the economy and, transforming the political sphere in the country. Before military intervention in November 2017 to contend the position of the then, President Robert Mugabe, the country had encountered cash shortages, political turmoil as well as, industries ceasing operation due to harsh government policy. As a result, foreign investors were reluctant to fund any projects in Zimbabwe which led to the country’s economy collapsing.

So far, the new administration has continuously promoted transparency and introduced several initiatives to accommodate foreign investors. The move towards reversing the indigenisation policy has had a positive outcome on many of the country’s sectors. The policy, however, still applies to the extractive industries, other than that, investors are free to invest in many other sectors, unrestricted. During his Davos trip in late January 2018 for the World Economic Forum, Mnangagwa explicitly expressed that,

“Zimbabwe has lagged behind in many areas as a result of isolation for past 16, 18 years. Now we are saying to the world: Zimbabwe is now open for business.”

“To do so, we need to look at all the legislation that has been constraining business coming into Zimbabwe to improve the ease of doing business.”

He used the platform to encourage the international community to rebuild relations with the Southern African state. Following the WEF interview, global institutions such as the European Union, have taken a keen interest in assisting Zimbabwe to transform its economy.

In a bid to settle land issues, the government has made progress by extending land leases for white farmers from 5 years to 99 years. It is a commendable move, which displays that the new government is ready to abandon policies from the previous administration.

Both candidates have emphasised on re-building Zimbabwe, only the people can decide the country’s future on June 30.

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