JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe is set to host a panel discussion at next month's Infrastructure Africa 2018 summit to discuss infrastructure development opportunities in the southern African country for developers and project owners, organisers said on Thursday.
Zimbabwe's infrastructure has crumbled alongside the economy during nearly two decades of a crisis triggered by the country's controversial land reforms.
"Improvement in this sector will require boosting the regulatory landscape, policy framework for private investments including PPPs (public–private partnerships) as well as technical and financial restructuring," said Liz Hart, managing director of Infrastructure Africa.
"Implementation of such strategies will be explored to encourage the sector’s stakeholders of Zimbabwe to grow their establishments and create a competitive edge that will see them at the forefront of the industry.
These endeavours require the participation and support of the nation’s industry players if they are to share in the future resurrection and profits of the sector in question."
Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa has been keen to woo back investors since replacing Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe who stepped down under military pressure last November after more than 37 years in power.
Mugabe had clashed for years with foreign donors over policy differences – mainly his seizure of white-owned commercial farms for landless blacks – and charges that he had rigged elections and cracked down on his opponents to hold on to power.
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change has disputed Mnangagwa's own victory in national elections held on July 30.
Hart said confidence in the country would be boosted by Mnangagwa’s pledge to give incentives to new farmers and compensate those who had sly lost their land.
"Together, these could significantly drive GDP growth above the 4 percent mark that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe predicted earlier this year," she said.
The 7th annual Infrastructure Africa Business Forum to be held on October 9-10 in Johannesburg's wealthy Sandton district will bring together prominent African infrastructure experts, government officials and business leaders to discuss infrastructure development across the continent.
The 2-day conference and showcase exhibition provides an opportunity for companies to focus on the continent’s growth hotspots, discuss infrastructure trends, meet project developers and relevant government authorities, whilst exploring infrastructure business opportunities. The event partner is the NEPAD Planning & Coordinating Agency.
– African News Agency (ANA)