THE Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida)’s licence capturing software has reduced the licensing process by 14 days, increasing by nearly 34% to 753 licences issued in the first eight months of the year.

One of the challenges businesses and investors raised in setting up shop in Zimbabwe was cumbersome bureaucratic processes which often took very long.

“I applaud Zida, for successfully going live in customer relationship management (CRM). This is software for managing all our agency's relationships and interactions with investors and potential investors. This has resulted in a significant reduction of the license processing cycle from 21 days to seven days,” deputy chief secretary responsible for policy analysis, co-ordination and development planning in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Willard Manungo said.

Manungo was speaking at a Zida stakeholder meeting held in Harare yesterday.

“I'm reliably informed that as of the 31st of August 2023, the agency’s records show that a total of 309 investors renewed their investment licences, while 426 were new licences. Ongoing efforts are currently being undertaken by the investment analysts and promotion teams to market investment opportunities globally,” he said.

The new licencees bring to 753 the number of licensed investors, marking an increase of 37,8%.

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The increase from the 2022 comparative was also due to the efforts by investment analysts and promotion teams to market investment opportunities in the country globally.

The investment value of licences signed in the first half of the year was US$1,07 billion, an increase of US$760,87 million as of the end of the first quarter.

From 2020 to August 8, Zida recorded more than 700 investment licences with an estimated investment value of US$5,65 billion.

“The Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency issued 562 investor licences in 2022 against 228 in 2021. Out of this, a total of 267 licences (45%), were new licences and 315 (55%), were renewals. Based on the licences issued in 2022, mining remains the most preferred investment sector with 130 licences followed by services with 49 licenses,” said Manungo, adding that more than 9 900 jobs were projected from the new investment licences, while more than 22 000 jobs were reported to have been created from licence renewals over the years.

Manungo encouraged companies to work closely with Zida on getting projects to the approval stage to develop and package identified investment opportunities.

Zida is currently working round the clock collaborating with key regulatory agencies and ministries — to create connectivity on digital platforms and reduce the man-handling of applications across the different agencies.