BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
THE Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) approved 126 new investment projects last year with a combined value of US$557,8 million.
Zida acting chief executive Duduzile Shinya told NewsDay Business in an exclusive interview that ever since her organisation was formed, there has been significant improvement in FDI flowing into the country, largely driven by the “Zimbabwe is open for business approach”.
“There was an encouraging improvement in the number of projects approved between 2020 and 2021, where 76 and 126 projects were approved, respectively, representing an increase of 165%. Please note, these are new investments excluding projects that were applying for renewals,” the Zida chief said.
Shinya said the increase in the number of projects approved did not reflect the value of the proposed projects, however, where US$557,7m was invested in 2021 against just over US$1,5 billion in 2020.
“The significant difference is attributable to two outlier investments of over a billion worth of proposed FDI in 2020 from two projects in the agricultural and energy sectors, with each contributing over US$650m and US$360m, respectively,” she said.
Shinya said the value of approved projects in each year showed the commitment by investors, adding that these commitments could span over a period of one year to a maximum of five years for each
Asked whether all these projects were implemented, Shinya said the role of Zida was to facilitate investments and, as such, there was an intensive after-care service to monitor and evaluate if the approved projects were being implemented according to plan.
“Visits to the approved project sites were severely limited in the years under consideration due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
“Nevertheless many of the projects were verified as being implemented and were operational.”
Shinya said the increase in FDI coming into the country was also attributable to the improving ease of doing business environment which is “favourable to investors and is a product of various government initiatives on the economic
“We are receiving a significant number of enquiries by potential investors in the differing sectors of the economy such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure development and mining,” she revealed.