HomeOpinion & AnalysisZida initiative needs political backing

Zida initiative needs political backing

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THE move by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) to conduct as survey that establishes investor sentiment is important.

As Zida said on Tuesday, a big shift from the traditional way of doing business has failed and it is time Zimbabwe understood where potential foreign direct inflows lie.

That way, Zida will not fall into the trap of engaging in wasteful campaigns in regions that could be disinterested.

Zimbabwe has for a long time been groping in the dark and the results have been disastrous.

It is important that in this strategy, Zida must work hand in glove with the International Finance Corporation, which has experience working in different markets.

But mere paperwork and high-sounding economic blueprints may mean nothing unless attitudes and actions on the ground change.

It will also be futile for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to continue chanting “Zimbabwe is open for business” without introducing a tangible paradigm shift in the way we do business.

This project must be complemented with efforts to change mindsets within government, which has been a huge letdown in the past.

Policies that discourage investors have remained the elephant in the room since the era of the late former President Robert Mugabe.

Examples include currency distortions and others like tax changes.

The way investors view Zimbabwe will be determined by such policies, as well as relations with other countries.

It is hoped that Zida’s position document will look at these and other issues, as well as spell out the full impact of these on the economy to make sure policymakers are guided accordingly, and they won’t repeat past mistakes.

These pitfalls must be avoided as Zimbabwe moves forward.

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