Mnangagwa to meet SA-based Zimbabwe entrepreneurs

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa is scheduled to meet his compatriots doing business in South Africa on Thursday as he moves to rebuild the southern African nation’s ailing economy.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa Isaac Moyo confirmed the meeting, saying it was part of the government's efforts at ensuring that the diaspora community participates in the turnaround of the country’s economy through investing in various sectors.

“We have invited Zimbabweans doing business in South Africa and all business persons with an interest in investing in Zimbabwe,” Mr Moyo said.

Home to millions

He added that President Mnangagwa would address the businesspeople and give information on how they could invest back home.

South Africa is home to millions of Zimbabwean nationals, some of them running successful businesses.

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Mr Moyo said Thursday’s meeting would be an interactive one.

In June, President Mnangagwa, while serving as Robert Mugabe’s deputy, paid a similar visit to Pretoria where he emphasised that Harare was keen on creating an environment that would attract investors.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Zimbabwe has been low over the years. FDI into the country stood at approximately $300 million in 2016.

Impede investors

“We’re grateful for this opportunity, I believe it will give us direction in terms of where Zimbabwe is headed economically. We really want to know if government will ease up all the bureaucracy surrounding company registration and several laws that impede investors,” said Ms Ntando Ngano, a Midrand-based businesswoman.

Earlier this year, the Zimbabwean government indicated that some laws, including the Companies Act, Shop Licensing Act and the Procurement Act, were being amended to make the country more accessible to investors. The Government was also aiming to reduce the days it takes to register a business from 30 to between 10 and 15.

Second largest

Zimbabwe was considering attracting more investors in the country's manufacturing sector.

In the second largest city, Bulawayo, most industries were non-functional and the government has reiterated that it would provide that space to investors.

Mr Michael Hove, a member of the ICT Steering Committee at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe, said last week’s budget by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, was quite conducive to foreign investment.

“There was talk during the Budget Speech of rebuilding infrastructure… We may not have the necessary capital, but you can partner with those with the means of production,” he said.

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