Zimbabwe has come a long way in 34 years

| April 20, 2014 | 0 Comments
Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, is one of the seven wonders of the world.

Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, is one of the seven wonders of the world.

On April 18, Zimbabwe will mark its 34th year of independence. This year’s independence anniversary comes alongside a number of key national developments, including a new constitution and free and fair harmonized elections held in July 2013. The election, won by the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front [ZANU (PF)] party, was endorsed by the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
ZANU (PF) received 62 percent of the vote against the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party’s 39 percent. This translated into 190 and 49 members, respectively, in the country’s eighth parliament. ZANU (PF) was thus given a new five-year mandate as the ruling party. Parliament saw an injection of 124 women out of 350 members, amounting to 38 percent, a massive leap towards the gender parity target of 50 percent and more than double the number of women in the 7th parliament. The Embassy of Zimbabwe in Canada joins the nation of Zimbabwe in celebrating its independence anniversary as well as the peace and tranquility prevailing in the country.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

As testimony to the credibility of Zimbabwe’s elections, in August 2013, the country successfully co-hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organization with Zambia. The event was attended by representatives from more than 90 countries at the mighty Victoria Falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya, one of the seven wonders of the world. The election of Zimbabwe to the position of deputy chair of the African Union and Southern African Development Community, and co-chair of the Africa Caribbean Pacific-EU parliamentary assembly is further expression of confidence in the country.
It is against this background that Zimbabwe is calling for the removal of sanctions imposed against the country by western countries. The behaviour for which these punitive measures were put in place has since changed, warranting their abolition. This fact was acknowledged by members of the European Union (EU) delegation, which visited Zimbabwe in February 2014. The delegation noted that the sanctions were scaring away investors, as no investor would be willing to invest in a “sanction-infested” country. The sanctions have militated against the country’s economic development efforts, resulting in suffering for its citizens. The EU delegation disputed the notion, arguing that the sanctions were only targeted at a few individuals and entities, when, in effect, they were affecting ordinary people.
That notwithstanding, the government of Zimbabwe endeavours to accelerate economic growth and wealth creation through the implementation of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation program, known as Zim Asset (www.zimtreasury.gov.zw/zim-asset). This program will be implemented up to 2018 and is meant to give the government and other stakeholders direction in an attempt to beat stagnation and boost economic performance to improve the lifestyle of the people. Under Zim Asset, the government has identified four major pillars it will focus on to rejuvenate economic performance. Those include food security and nutrition, social services and poverty eradication, infrastructure and utilities as well as value addition. This blueprint needs funding to be successful. Zim Asset presents a lot of investment opportunities in all sectors of the economy through various initiatives such as public-private partnerships and issuance of bonds on the local and international markets.
The country is well-endowed with mineral resources, which provide an opportunity for the growth of resource-based industrial activities. Agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, distribution, finance and insurance are some of the sectors with huge opportunities for investment. Furthermore, the country has a highly educated and skilled workforce. Zimbabwe’s geographical location facilitates easy access to regional markets such as SADC and COMESA.
Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in the world, and in Zimbabwe, it’s a vibrant sector with great potential for growth. The major tourist attractions include Victoria Falls, the Great Zimbabwe monument and a grand medieval palace full of architectural mystique, from which Zimbabwe derives her name. There are the sprawling Eastern Highlands and the mythical Lake Kariba, Hwange National Park, the mighty Zambezi River, and Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which brings together Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe), Kruger National Park (South Africa) and the Limpopo National Park (Mozambique). Investment opportunities in the tourism sector include the construction of hotels and lodges in designated tourism zones and general development of related infrastructure.
Zimbabwe has a vibrant mining industry and one of the largest diamond and platinum reserves in the world. Investment opportunities in the mining sector include prospecting of these minerals, as well as gold, coal and granite, among others. In Zimbabwe’s agro-based economy, opportunities abound for investment in the agricultural sector, for example, and in meat, wood and cotton processing.
When it comes to infrastructure development, investment opportunities include building toll roads, building and upgrading airports, constructing dams, upgrading power-generating facilities and telecommunication systems. The government of Zimbabwe is committed to guaranteeing an attractive operating and investment environment as enshrined in international laws. It also provides incentives such as tax holidays and duty-free importation of raw materials for the manufacture of goods for export.
We look forward to meaningful and effective collaboration with all progressive members of the international community. We are willing to engage even those with whom we have previously been at odds. As one great politician once said, there are no permanent friends or enemies in international relations.

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Category: Diplomatica

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PRESENTED CREDENTIALS AS AMBASSADOR: Dec. 13, 2005 PREVIOUS JOBS: Civil servant, departments of health, transport, industry and commerce.

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