This week has been a whirlwind journey for myself and Business Report.
I have been lucky enough to get to tour one of the most beautiful places on earth: Victoria Falls and the majestic Zimbabwe.
The tour has been created to shine a spotlight on Zimbabwe’s tourism sector and illustrate the sides of the country that many may not see. I was invited as a guest by African Chrome Fields.
African Chrome Fields has invested heavily in the Zimbabwean economy and together with the Zimbabwean government and other sponsors and stakeholders, they want to showcase the potential of this southern African state.
A “true Zimbabwean tour”
The government wants its neighbours to know that it is ready for business, and is open to sharing its wonders and breathtaking scenery.
A number of SADC journalists and media personalities were invited to attend the tour. This included veteran actor Sello Maake KaNcube, Pearl Thusi and Sonia Mbele.
I personally have never really seen Zimbabwe as a bucket list country that I would visit. Like most South Africans, I see the news coming out of Zimbabwe and unfortunately, it does not paint an accurate picture.
The country is filled with people with ready smiles and brimming with hope. The energy of optimism is infectious and this was felt within the first few days on the tour.
This “true Zimbabwean tour” has personally allowed me to see why this is a country that is primed for investment.
The soil is fertile and the people are eager to revitalise their economy. They see tourism as a huge driver of future growth.
It should be noted that Zimbabwe’s infrastructure, specifically the housing and transportation sectors, are not what they could be. On a basic level, these areas could do with a major infusion of foreign investment.
The country is hoping to generate $500 billion in investments in the tourism sector by 2025. In 2020, President Emmerson Mnangagwa created the National Tourism Recovery Strategy. Mnangagwa hopes to revitalise local tourism and there seems to be a clear drive to get Zimbabwe’s neighbours on board.