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Zimbabwe records jump in investment proposals

by Staff reporter
16 Feb 2024 at 04:56hrs | Views
Zimbabwe saw a massive growth in the value of proposed investments in the fourth quarter of 2023 despite approving fewer new investor licenses, according to the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).

ZIDA's 2023 fourth-quarter report reveals a 232,6 percent surge in proposed investment value, reaching US$4,4 billion, with mining proposals accounting for 76 percent, highlighting the continued importance of mining to Zimbabwe's economy.

The investment agency also reported a US$6,9 billion project remained under review. The proposed investment will be for mining, processing and trading of gold and other minerals including lithium, manganese and copper in Harare.

"On investor activity, there was a drop in the number of licenses the agency issued in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter. Despite this decline, projected investment value grew by 232,85 percent quarter on quarter with 76 percent of this amount attributable to the mining sector," ZIDA chief executive Tafadzwa Chinamo said.

Investors are flocking to Zimbabwe's mining industry, drawn by the potential of its rich mineral deposits, particularly lithium–a critical element in the clean energy revolution.

Fuelled by Zimbabwe's ban on raw lithium exports, lithium miners are actively investing in beneficiation facilities. The move is not the only driver of investment, as both the platinum and gold sectors have also seen substantial inflows of capital.

Leading the pack were investment proposals from South Africa and Botswana, which reached US$1,71 billion and US$1,41 billion, respectively. Notably, Masvingo, Manicaland, and Harare emerged as the top destinations for the proposed investments.

Mr Chinamo said the quarter ended on a high note as the agency continued with its commitment to driving sustainable investments and fostering economic growth.

He focused on two crucial developments shaping the investment landscape in Zimbabwe.

Firstly, the promulgation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and General Investments Regulations. These regulations streamline the application processes for both SEZs and general investment licenses, offering greater clarity and efficiency for potential investors. Secondly, Mr Chinamo emphasised the success of ZIDA's Mining Matchmaking Platform. The platform's rising popularity, evidenced by increased inquiries and follow-through, has prompted the launch of its second phase.

This expansion signifies ZIDA's commitment to connecting investors with viable mining opportunities in Zimbabwe.

"This (also) saw us going live with the Tourism Matchmaking Platform that we launched at the Sanganai Hlanganani Tourism Expo. This digital platform will bring together local and international tourism promoters and investors seeking opportunities in the sector," said Mr Chinamo.

To enhance investor support in Masvingo, Midlands, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South, and Bulawayo provinces, ZIDA deployed new offices in these regions.

"In our ongoing effort to make it easy for investors to be aware of opportunities available for investment, work continued on the development of project-specific prospectuses. "This was complemented by research on several value chains, as well as an investor sentiment analysis survey, whose findings will guide us through MDAs to creating a more conducive investment climate," said Mr Chinamo.

Beyond regional expansion, ZIDA actively fostered partnerships with key stakeholders to streamline investment processes and enhance the ease of doing business.

Notably, ZIDA forged strategic collaborations with Nedbank and Ecobank. These agreements promise to play a pivotal role in promoting Zimbabwe's attractiveness to investors, both domestic and foreign, by facilitating direct investments.

Mr Chinamo said ZIDA remained committed to driving investments and fostering growth.

"Embracing innovation and technology will be central to our success in the future. We recognise the importance of sustainable developments through responsible investments, hence a renewed emphasis to attract socially responsible investors in line with regional and global trends," said Mr Chinamo.

Source - The Herald