GBC Explores Business Opportunities in Zimbabwe

At the beginning of May 2023, the Chairman of the Global Business Council (#GBC), Mr Kwang Poon, led a delegation to Harare, Zimbabwe. During his visit, he met with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development (MMMD), Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA), Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) amongst others.

At the Ministry of Mines, he had a working session with Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura and his key staff. Minister Kambamura outlined the policy of the Government of Zimbabwe for the mining sector which has been identified as a key pillar of the National Development Strategy (NDS), ushering in a New Dispensation as per the #Vision2030 Strategy Paper released in 2018. The eventual goal of Zimbabwe is to graduate from a low-value ore exporter to a high-value finished goods producer.

Working Session Between GBC and MMMD

Taking lithium as a case study, this mineral is an indispensable ingredient in the manufacturing of batteries that go into Electric Vehicles (#EV) and Energy Storage Systems (#ESS). In 2022, the Government of Zimbabwe has enacted a law to motivate Local Value Addition (#LVA) by throttling the export of raw minerals. The trend towards Local Beneficiation is global and Zimbabwe intends to follow global best practices in order to extract maximum benefits from its rich mining resources for the local economy.

Mr Kwang Poon took note of the policy direction of Zimbabwe which has set upon a pathway towards enhancing #LVA. He assured the Ministry of Mines that GBC is willing to work with all relevant authorities to realize the aspiration of Zimbabwe to foster local beneficiation of its minerals along the Great Dyke and other areas.

Recent Lithium Deals in Zimbabwe

In recent years, Zimbabwe has witnessed a flurry of transactions involving lithium in support of the #Decarbonization Drive and #GreenTransition. As a result, Zimbabwe is now the 4th largest producer of lithium behind Australia, Chile and China.

“If proper and comprehensive exploration is undertaken, Zimbabwe could well top the global league table for lithium.”

Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Mines, Mr Polite Kambamura

At the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), the Executive Director for Special Projects, Mr Reason Machigere, highlighted the undeniable attractivity and the largely untapped potential of the world-famous Victoria Falls. In 2013, Victoria Falls hosted the 20th Session of #UNWTO General Assembly, and the event managed to welcome some 5,000 participants from around the world. More recently, Zimbabwe hosted the Transform Africa Summit at Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls and the regional conference saw the participation of nearly 3,000 delegates, including several heads of states and governments.

To give a further boost to the development of tourism, the Government of Zimbabwe plans to set up a Special Economic Zone (#SEZ) around Victoria Falls assorted with preferential policies to attract #FDI. For instance, the Government is considering relaxing its policy on foreign currency transfer for that particular #SEZ in order that investors may repatriate their profits.

On his part, Mr Kwang Poon painted the vision for an integrated development model respectful of #SustainableTourism principles, whereby tourists can stay, sightsee and shop in a pleasant environment. Given the mouth-watering attractivity of the waterfalls for #MICE, he outlined the project for a hotel resort, international conference and expo center and other related amenities which could eventually see the light in the vicinity of Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls on Border of Zimbabwe and Zambia

Other than Vic Falls, the Zambezi River region is home to a rich wildlife such as huge hippopotamuses, vile crocodiles and beautiful birds. The region also boasts a number of natural reserves where the tourist may appreciate the #BigFive wild beasts in their natural habitat.

Given the availability of gold, diamond and a variety of gems in Zimbabwe, a duty-free shopping center would cater for the discerning world traveler looking for that exceptional jewelry item at an unbeatable price. The nearby Kazungula Bridge is situated at the so-called quadrilateral point at the intersection of borders of four countries, namely Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia, has also greatly improved #connectivity and has contributed to drive more traffic to the area.

Finally, the GBC delegation had a meeting with #ZIDA. The Chief Investment Promotion Officer, Mrs Silibaziso Chizwina, welcomed GBC and reiterated the new motto of the country: “Zimbabwe is open for business!” The role of the ZIDA is to accompany investors in Zimbabwe by guiding them and acting as a one-stop shop for initiating administrative procedures. ZIDA can also facilitate meetings with relevant ministries and agencies to grasp business opportunities and take advantage of related incentive schemes.

“Zimbabwe is open for business!”

ZIDA Chief Investment Promotion Officer, Mrs Silibaziso Chizwina

Mr Kwang Poon succinctly depicted the #SADC Multimodal Logistical Hub as one of the flagship projects that GBC is promoting. The project is located in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Pretoria-Johannesburg. The regional transport hub is geostrategically situated near the junction between the N1 and N4 highways, the Transnet railway depot and the Wonderboom airport and thus lends itself naturally to an intermodal operation. The N1 forms part of African Transnational Highway linking Cape Town to Cairo while the railway line continues north passing via Zimbabwe, Zambia and all the way to DR Congo.

At the end, GBC and ZIDA agreed to contemplate the possibility of signing an MOU to formalize the partnership in order to compare notes and exchange on best practices with a common objective to drive more #FDI into Zimbabwe.