The fast-paced political developments in Zimbabwe, the new Government’s stated and already proven intent to fast track business development and the already declared aim of numerous countries to inject substantial capital funds into the country - have created what can be termed from a business perspective as the “perfect storm”. Not only for those organisations looking to expand their business footprint into Zimbabwe (16 million inhabitants) but certainly also for Zimbabwean businesses looking to extend into the South African and other African markets.
Business interest is being fast-tracked with new announcements almost daily. European, USA and China have lead the charge with interest from South Africa, India and UAE. Likewise astute African businessmen are also getting in early with it being reported in 2018 that Aiko Dangote of Nigeria is set to invest US$1.5 billion in coal mining and power generation (Dangote recently invested UD$400 million in a cement manufacturing plant in Zambia). Among the first South African companies to respond to the call to scout out the investment opportunities in post-Mugabe Zimbabwe was tycoon Robert Gumede’s Guma Group, which announced that it planned to invest US$1.2 billion in the country – in sectors ranging from infrastructure development to energy, healthcare, tourism, financial services and information and communication technology. Augmenting this, DHL launched a new Boeing 737-400f cargo aircraft on the Johannesburg-Harare-Lusaka route and the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) recently embarked on a US$400 million recapitalisation project with South Africa's Transnet under which NRZ will acquire rolling stock, signalling equipment and information communication technology equipment to increase capacity utilisation. This is all underpinned by donor funding and as one example, EU aid focusses on three key areas, of health (€88 million / ZAR1.3 billion), agriculture-based economic development (€88 million / ZAR1.3 billion) and governance and institution building (€58 million).
The Zimbabwean business and workforce have an amazing entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy a high level of education, which are the cornerstones of doing business in Zimbabwe.
All being said and done - its most certainly not a case of just breezing into Zimbabwe and finding a market and partner. Rather as with all our clients in the past, to so many African countries, if you don't assess first hand what opportunities there are and to what extent those opportunities are - how will you know!
We have taken and advised literally hundreds of South African business people (from small to medium sized businesses) to Angola, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia - the focus is now on Introducing Zimbabwe Business! However, there is a caveat and as the saying goes, “once the window of opportunity opens, it starts to close”.
AND OF COURSE there is Covid-19! - see our Latest News pages