Zim needs more Dangotes

HARARE - Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote’s choice of investing in Zimbabwe became the most trending story of the past week.

For a country that is in the throes of a moribund economy teetering on the brink of slipping into a dysfunctional state, it is expected that visits such as the one by Dangote last week, should generate optimism.

Why?

Dangote is valued at $17,2 billion by the influential Forbes Magazine and has many interests across Africa where his conglomerate is involved in big projects.

The Nigerian mogul was here last week not to look for opportunities but to reaffirm his commitment to his areas of investment which include mining, energy and construction.

His visit, therefore, is seen as a harbinger of things to come — a deluge of investments!

But what all the cheerleaders of Dangote are failing to understand is that all this grandstanding counts for nothing as long as Zimbabwe has politicians who purse narrow and selfish interests which are to the detriment of the economy.

Zanu PF’s penchant for the self destruct button, which is clearly underlined by senseless internal fights, militate against technocrats such as the central bank governor — John Mangudya and those at the Finance ministry — who have been scouring the length and breadth of Europe and Asia in bids to lure investors.

There are many Dangotes out there who are willing to do business with Zimbabwe as long as their investments are secured and there is stability.

The Russians, French, British, Danes and Chinese are keen to invest in Zimbabwe but they remain frustrated by the unending fissures in Zanu PF which are located in the messy unresolved succession issue.

It would be wrong to celebrate the investment by Dangote without reminding President Robert Mugabe and his colleagues in Zanu PF that it is them who need to lead the way in unlocking investment by behaving orderly and peacefully.

As long as there is infighting, efforts to rejuvenate the economy will come to naught.

No one would like to invest in an environment fraught with the unpredictable and in Zimbabwe’s case; we have gained notoriety for not respecting investors’ rights.

It’s time Mugabe and Zanu PF walk the talk and show cause why Zimbabwe should be the preferred choice for investors.

Otherwise we will have only Dangote investing yet there are many out there with cash burning their holes looking for the right climate and stability.

 

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