ZIMBABWE needs to brand itself in order to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) as it faces stiff competition from other regional countries, an official from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has said.
BY TAFADZWA MUTACHA
Speaking at a National Branding workshop held in Harare last week, senior principal director in the OPC Mary Mubi said Zimbabwe was in competition with other countries to attract FDI.
“The competition is real. There have been intensified radio adverts by South Africa being open for business and many other counties are now singing the mantra across board and in terms of attracting investment, we have to catch up and surpass other counties. So, there is need to build a positive reputation, image or perception amongst the people of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders which include visitors, trading partners and potential investors to communicate the brand coherently,” she said.
“The purpose of National Branding is to enhance business relationships, increase tourism arrivals, restore hope for a better future for the citizens, restore investor confidence, and thus facilitate the growth of our economy to become a middle to high income Country by 2030.”
Mubi said that the rebranding process would need Zimbabwe to rediscover, reassess and reposition itself.
She added that there was a need to mobilise the citizens, mass media, businesses, government, private sector and other stakeholders to participate in the Nation Branding process.
“We need to move together, checking whether we are in the right direction. Everyone has a role to play, especially in this current phase of national conversations, where media players, marketers, researchers, our creative sector and individuals are key,” Mubi said.
The national branding process has so far completed the initial provincial data gathering, provincial profiles, compiled websites, provincial brochures and video guidelines for government websites among others.
This is part of the OPC’s plans to achieve national branding through robust radio and television adverts, research reports, brand essence brochures, videos, and websites among other initiatives.
At the workshop, provincial representatives presented profiles on progress they had made so far to harmonise and come up with a holistic national brand policy that will help attract FDI.
The idea for national branding was first conceived by former Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi to improve the country’s image through reforming the country’s trade, tourism and investment sectors back in 2016.
The concept was to involve ministries of Tourism and Hospitality, Industry and Commerce and Finance and Economic Development.
However, since then, there has been little progress made in that area with the OPC’s workshop meant at speeding up the process.