YAFM in partnership with online portal Great Dyke TV yesterday launched the Great Dyke Mining and Agricultural Investment Report which is a thorough study of the investment opportunities within the Great Dyke region in order to guide potential investors.
Speaking during the launch at the Great Dyke Mining and Agriculture Investment Conference held in Gweru yesterday, Dr Tonderai Kapesa of the Africa Economic Development Strategies (AEDS) said the focus of the study was to establish the opportunities around the Great Dyke primarily from the mining and agricultural sectors.
“The first objective was to establish economic activities around the Great Dyke, so we were looking at reports from the government, public sector as well and the private sector which were presenting the opportunities around the Great Dyke.
“We established that the key opportunities in the Great Dyke include improving operations for illegal mining activities.
“There is need to formalize the operations for artisanal and small scale miners such that they can contribute to the economy,
“For both small scale, large and informal miners there is need for consolidating as well as formalizing their operations so that they start paying taxes and royalties that are collected from the mining sector,” he said.
He added that due to climate change which has affected the agricultural sector, there is scope for investment in animal husbandry and dairy sectors.
“Zimbabwe has not been spared from climate change, as a result we are not producing optimally in terms of the agriculture sector. So there are vast opportunities in the development of irrigation infrastructure.
“We are looking at the establishment of more dairies in the central parts of the Great Dyke where we said the soils are suitable for agriculture, so we can also invest in improving productivity,” he said.
He added that in the tourism sector, there are several heritage cites across the Great Dyke mountain ranges which can be converted into tourism hubs for both domestic and international visitors.
Below are some of the highlights and recommendations:
•Mining sector- consolidation and improvement in the operations of informal miners and small scale miners.
•Agricultural sector- development of irrigation and other precision agriculture to improve productivity in crop production and animal husbandry.
•Processing and value addition for minerals (since most minerals are exported raw) and agricultural produce (processing crops such as maize, and small grains).
•Tourism- several heritage sites across the Great Dyke mountain ranges which can be converted into tourism hubs for both domestic and international visitors.
Dr Kapesa noted that investors can take advantage of the following legal and business frameworks.
•Ease of Doing Business Initiative- the Government of Zimbabwe has put in place, new institutional systems, streamlined procedures, legal and regulatory amendments to enhance the country’s image and attractiveness as an investment destination of choice.
b) Amendment of Indigenisation Legislation-
In 2018, the Government of Zimbabwe amended Indigenisation laws through the Finance Act, 2018 (No. 1 of 2018). The previous requirement that businesses have 51% local shareholding was scraped with foreigners being allowed to hold as much shareholding as desired in all sectors except for diamond and platinum mining.
The 2018 Finance Bill Amendment further amended indigenisation laws to remove the requirement of 51% shareholding by Zimbabweans in the diamond and platinum mining sectors.
c) One Stop Investment Services Centre- the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) was established to operate as an effective one stop investment centre incorporating under one roof, the regulatory Agencies and Ministries that deal directly with investors.
d) Tax holidays- the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development granted a 5-year tax exemption to Great Dyke Investments effective from January 2021. The mining company will be exempted from paying income tax for a period of five years commencing from the date of receipt of income from mining operations and sales of mining output. Other investors can apply for similar exemptions.
YAFM commissioned the study with a view to unlocking the full value of mineral wealth and the agricultural potential in the Great Dyke.