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Zida anticipates US$15 billion FDI



ZIMBABWE’S national investment agency has set out an ambitious target of US$15 billion in foreign investments as the southern African nation continues to lag behind regional peers despite increased trade with China.


According to the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) report for the first three months of 2024, an improved investment climate will bring new business into the country.

“The Agency is targeting a Project Pipeline valued at US$15 billion in 2024, reads the Zida report.

“The pipeline will be derived from designated Special Economic Zones projects, approved PPPs [public-private partnerships], and appraised general investment opportunities.”

An analysis of the 143 new licenses issued in the first quarter (Q1), representing a projected total investment value of US$622.18 million, reveals a diversified sectoral distribution.

The services sector captured the leading share, accounting for 25% of the aggregate investment value. Construction followed closely, securing 23% of the total, while the mining sector attracted 18% of the projected investment value.

“The Agency maintained a strong international presence in Q1 2024, attracting investors from 19 countries,” Zida says.

“While the total number of represented countries dipped slightly compared to Q1 2023 (20 countries), the Agency successfully diversified its investor base. Chinese Investors continued to demonstrate significant interest in mining opportunities, securing the majority of new project licenses issued in Q1 2024. 30 out of the 39 projects licensed were awarded to Chinese investors.”

The World Bank says after picking up in 2018 to US$718 million — largely reflecting one-off investments in the mining sector — foreign direct investment inflows into Zimbabwe dropped to US$341 million in 2022.

Experts say while the country is endowed with over 40 base minerals amid global demand in lithium for the manufacturing of eco-friendly alternative energy sources, the country’s investment climate, particularly policy inconsistency, has over the years unnerved investors.

The government has undertaken to improve the ease of doing business as the country remains lowly ranked.

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