Tourism has po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate enough for­eign cur­rency for Zim

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Business/farming News - Wilson Dakwa Busi­ness Re­porter

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

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