President Mnangagwa, the president of Zimbabwe, is on record saying that the country is on course to meet its Vision 2030. The vision is to become an upper-middle-class economy. Putting economic growth this year at a plus 7% with infrastructure key to achieving those goals. Here are seven events happening in Zimbabwe now:
1. Zimbabwe and Namibia in Partnership for a Dry Port Promo.
Officially, the dry port in Walvis Bay, Zimbabwe, opened on July 26, 2019. It was opened by the presidents of Zimbabwe and Namibia, Presidents Mnangagwa and Geingob respectively. The port benefits both countries as access to the dry port opens business opportunities and markets for both sides to trade in fish, beef, salt, granite and other minerals.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona was at the facility recently to check on the progress made so far in the development of infrastructure, installation and enhancement of systems at the dry port. He also surveyed the challenges being faced.
As a result, both countries have launched a joint bid to promote and market the dry port facility in Walvis Bay. The roadshows are expected to last for two months.
2. Modernisation of the Beitbeidge Border Post.
Due to the opening of the Kazungula Bridge between Zambia and Botswana, truckers have been avoiding usage of the Zimbabwe roads, causing losses to the state.
The Zimbabwean government is therefore investing US$300 million to see the Beitbridge Border Post modernised in a bid to address the bottlenecks which often see haulage trucks stuck for days on end waiting to be served.
The freight terminal will constitute phase one of the border upgrade and will be used mainly by commercial vehicles crossing into and out of Zimbabwe.
3. Container Train Service Launched.
Last Friday, DP World Maputo handled the first dedicated container train service connecting Maputo and Harare, Zimbabwe. DP World Maputo, has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal.
This new offering presents a vast array of new business opportunities for customers in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, according to the company. The services are expected to enhance DP World Maputo’s position as a gateway to Zimbabwe and offer significantly better transit times for customers in Zimbabwe.
4. 200 New Jobs to be created by Alaska Mines.
Alaska Copper and Smelting Mine, which has been out of business for over a decade is set to resume operations in October of this year. This is after the firm got a US$12 million capital injection from a Chinese investor.
The revival of Alaska Copper and Smelting Mine coincides with the Zimbabwean government’s desire to turn mining into a US$12 billion industry by 2023. The Alaska project is a partnership involving Grand Sanyuan, Rusununguko Holdings and ZMDC. The project has an anticipated lifespan of between 10 to 15 years.
The company’s general manager, Mr Wen Zhang, said construction of the plant commences end of next month. That would be so once they are issued with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) licence. The company would be employing at least, 200 new workers.
5. World Bank Survey of Zimbabwe’s Digital Economy.
In other news, the World Bank has issued a report following a survey of the country’s digital economy. Although there are challenges such as high taxation of digital platforms and lack of affordability of digital tools, it appears the digital economy is doing pretty well.
As part of the World Bank’s Digital Economy for Africa Initiative, the survey identifies five foundational digital elements that can create the building blocks for unlocking digital transformation in Zimbabwe. In turn, it could determine the country’s ability to build a robust digital economy.
These elements are; digital infrastructure, digital government platforms, digital financial services, digital skills, and digital entrepreneurship. With the country having about 7.1 million mobile wallet holders, it shows how the cashless system has changed affairs over past decade.
6. Signing of The Commitment For The Establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is the largest regional economic organization in Africa, with 19 member states and a population of about 390 million. So far only eight countries, including Zimbabwe have signed the commitment for the establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
The goal of SAATM is to fully implement the 1999 Yamoussoukro Declaration, which allows all participating countries to lift market access restrictions for airlines. It also removes restriction on ownership, grant each other extended air traffic rights and liberalise flight frequency and capacity limits.
A study by the International Air Transport Association in 2014 on 12 sample African countries identified some positive benefits to be derived. These are fare savings, greater connectivity, time savings, greater convenience, and a positive impact on other sectors of the economy too.
7. Opportunities for Turkish Investors.
According to the data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), in 2019, the year before the pandemic, the trade volume between Turkey and Zimbabwe was approximately $19 million.
Hifsi Soydemir, the chairman of the Turkey-Zimbabwe Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), told Anadolu Agency that now is the right time for investments as political instability in the country is being resolved.
“There are many opportunities for Turkish companies in Zimbabwe for direct investments in infrastructure and superstructure, especially in agriculture, technologies.” The business leader stated.