Tourism has potential to generate enough foreign currency for Zim
TOURISM has the potential to generate enough foreign currency and to help expose potential investors to the vast opportunities that the country has in other sectors.
In an interview in Bulawayo last week, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe said the country’s tourism sector has the potential to attract an excess of 1 million visitors in a single year.
“Tourism has got the potential to balance trade because if for example, we have 1 million tourist arrivals annually and each of them spends about $1 000, it means about $1 billion being poured into the country. Zimbabwe has a fairly good infrastructure although the perception of the country is very poor and this makes it difficult for us to access loans. Eliminating the negative perceptions pertaining Zimbabwe becomes easier for industry to attract investors because if we can’t get the potential investors to visit Zimbabwe as tourists, we can’t get their money as well,” he said.
Mr Jabangwe commended measures which the Government has implemented to help boost industries.
“Government has put in place various programmes aimed at improving the ease of doing business and cost of doing business. The implementation of SI64 has resulted in the import bill being reduced by over $1 billion between 2015 and 2016. Companies which were operating at 30 percent capacity utilisation are now operating at about 70 percent.
“Investment has been coming through into the country and some companies retooling. Government’s strategies are starting to yield results. We are looking at the improvement of the Indigenisation Act to ensure that policies are in place to give guidance to investors,” said Mr Jabangwe.
He said there was a need to equip small scale miners with efficient machinery to boost production.
“Gold is one of Zimbabwe’s main export earners. Small scale miners accounted for much of the gold received and it is therefore imperative that we mechanise them to produce much more gold,” he said.
This year, small scale miners in Zimbabwe are expected to contribute at least 13 tonnes of gold to national output, up from 9.7 tonnes that they produced last year
Small-scale miners have contributed almost 40 percent of total output since 2015, when the Government legalised artisanal mining and embarked on an aggressive collection strategy, which saw the country’s sole buyer of gold, Fidelity Printers and Refineries, setting up buying depots across the country.
Mr Sifelani Jabangwe